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Full text of "The narrative of Robert Adams : an American sailor who was wrecked on the western coast of Africa, in the year 1810, was detained three years in slavery by the Arabs of the Great Desert, and resided several months in the City of Tombuctoo"

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IN THE YEAR 1810; 














I beg leave to present to you the Nar- 
rative of the Sailor, Robert Adams, in the 
form which 1 conceive will be most interest- 
ing to you and to the publick, and most use- 
ful to the poor man himself, for whose benefit 
it has been committed to the press. 

I have the honour to be, 

your faithful and obedient Servant, 


African Office, April 30th, 1816, 



Introductory Details respecting Adams. ...Discovered in London.... 
examined by the African Committee respecting his travels in Africa 
....his answers satisfactory. ...Notes of his story laid before the 
African Committee... Their belief in its truth ...Mode of interrogat- 
ing Adams His method of reckoning bearings, distances, and 

rate of travelling, through the Desert. ...Examined by several Mem- 
bers of the Government.... Receives a Gratuity from the Lords 
of the Treasury.. ..Sir Willoughby Gordon's opinion of his state- 
ments page ix— xvi 

Reasons for publishing the following Narrative. ...Departure of Adams 

for America Arrival in England of Mr. Dupuis, British Vice 

Consul at Mogadore His confirmation of the whole of Adams's 

story in a Letter to the Editor, with other interesting parti- 
culars relating to him on his arrival and during his stay at Moga- 
dore p. xvi — xxii 

Advertisement to the Map.. ..Explanations respecting the data on 
which the Map is constructed Information on the route, and na- 
ture of the country, between Haoussa and Lagos on the Coast of 
the Bight of Benin. ...Probability of Europeans being able to pene- 
trate from Lagos in the direction of the Niger p. xxiv — xxviii 



Departure from New York on board the "Charles" Names of the 

Crew.. ..Arrival at Gibraltar.. ..Voyage to the Isle of Mayo.. ..Igno- 
rance of the Captain.. ..The ship is wrecked on the 4 Western coast of 
Africa.. ..The Crew saved, but are enslaved by the Moors. ...El Gazie... 
Description of the Moors, and their proceed n«;s... .French Renegade 
...Sufferings of the Crew.. ..Death of Captain Horton.... Separation 


of the Crew, and departure of the Moors from El Gazie.... Adams iv 
conveyed eastward into the Desert.... Mode of travelling.. ..Arrival at 
the encampment of the Moors. ...Employment there.. ..Expedition to 
steal Negro Slaves at Soudenny. ...Sufferings in traversing the De- 
sert.. ..Arrival near Soudenny.... The Moors seize a Woman and two 
Children ; are themselves surprized by the Negroes, taken prison- 
ers, and confined in the town. ...Soudenny, and its inhabitants.. ..The 
prisoners are conveyed by a party of armed Negroes to Tombuctoo 
... Journey thither ; during which fourteen of the Moors are put 
to death. ...Arrival at Tombuctoo p. 29 


Imprisonment of the Moors at Tombuctoo. ..Adams an object of cu- 
riosity, and kindly treated. ...King and Queen; Woollo and Fatima 
....Their Dress, Ceremonies, Residence, and Attendants.. ..Muskets 
....Curiosity of the Natives to see Adams. ...Tombuctoo. ...La Mar 
Zarah Canoes. ...Fish Fruits. ...Vegetables Grain. ...Food pre- 
pared from the Guinea corn. ...Animals. ...Heirie. ...Elephant hunt.... 
Birds: Ostriches. ...Sulphur.. ..Poisonous preparation of the Negroes 
for their Arrows. ...Persons and Habits of the Negroes. ...Incisions in 
their Faces Dress Ornaments, and Customs Musical Instru- 
ments. ...Dancing. ...Military Excursions against Bambarra. ...Slaves 
....Criminal Punishments. ...Articles of Trade. ...Jealous precautions 
of the Negroes against the Moors ; their kindness to Adams.... 
Rain.. ..Names of Countries... .Words in the Language of Tombuc- 
too p. 40 


Ransom of the imprisoned Moors and of Adams. ...Departure from 
Tombuctoo. ...Journey eastward along the River ; then northward 
to Taudeny.... Traders in salt. ...Taudeny... .Mixed Population of 
Moors and Negroes.. ..Beds of Rock Salt. ...Preparations and De- 
parture to cross the Sandy Desert.... Sufferings in the Desert.... 
Arrival at Woled D'leim.... Employment, and long detention there.... 
Refusal of Adams to attend to his tasks.... He is punished for it ; 
but perseveres.. ..Seizes an opportunity of escaping. ...Is pursued ; but 
reaches El Kabla ...He is purchased by the Chief.... Employed to 
tend the flocks #f his Master's Wives.... Negotiates with Aisba, the 
younger wife, on the subject of Wages.... Their bargain, and its 
consequences. ...Adams flies and conceals himself.. ..Is purchased by a 


Trader; and conveyed to Woled Aboussebab....Woled Adrialla.... 
Aiata Mouessa Ali....He attempts to escape. ...Is retaken ; and con- 
veyed to Wed-Noon p. 58 


Description of Wed-Noon ; where Adams finds three of the crew of 
the "Charles". ...He is purchased by Bel-Cossim-Abdallah... .French 
Renegade.... Wreck of the Montezuma.... Gunpowder Manufacture 
....Curious Relation of a Negro Slave from Kanno... .Severe labours 
and cruel treatment of the Christian Slaves at Wed-Noon. ...Adams 
is required to plough on the Sabbath day ; refuses ; is cruel iy beat- 
en, and put in irons. ...His firmness.. ..Inhuman treatment and death 
of Dolbie.... Williams and Davison, worn out by their sufferings, re- 
nounce their Keligiou.... Adams perseveres... .Letter from the Bri- 
tish Vice-Consul at Mogadore, addressed to the Christian Slaves.... 

Ransom of Adams. ...Departure from Wed-Noon Akkad;a....Bled 

Cidi Heshem.-.Marketof Cidi Hamet a >loussa....Agadeer, or Santa 
Cruz.... Mogadore ...Adams is sent to the Moorish En)peiour...Fez.... 
Mequinez.... Tangier... .Cadiz.. .Gibraltar.. ..Loudon p. 72 

Concluding Remarks p. 140 — 165 

Notes and Illustrations. El Gazie.. ..Shipwrecks. ...French Rene- 
gade.. ..Agadeer Doma....Soudenny....Woollo and Fatima.... Dress of 
the inhabitants of Tombuctoo, Houses, &c....La Mar Zarah. ...Ca- 
noes. ...Fruits.. ..Quadrupeds. ...Heiries... .Elephant huniiug....Alliga- 
tors....Courcoo Wild Beasts. ...Birds. ...Poisons. ...Polygamy. ...Re- 
ligion Physicians Sorcery ....Dancing Bambarra Slaves.... 

Punishments.. ..Shops and Trade at Tombuctoo Cowries Moors 

Negroes ....Crossing the Desert. ...Joliba river.. ..Negro Language 

....Taudeny... .Woled D'leim....El Kabla.... Aisha....Wooled Abous- 
sebah....Kanno... .Christian Slaves. ...Reckonings of Time and Dis- 
tance p. 85—139 

Appendix, No. I. Information obtained in the year 1764, respecting 
Tombuctoo, and the course and navigation of the Niger.... Park.... 

Major Rennell. ...Sources of the Senegal and Gambia Remarks 

on the Rivers passed by Park. ...Kong mountains.... Expediency of 
exploring the furthest western navigation of the Niger.. .p. 167 — 180 

Appendix, No. II. Sketch of the Population of Western Bar- 
bary Berrebbers Arabs Moors Distinguishing occupa- 
tions p. 181—193 

Index.... ; , p. 194 




In the month of October, 1815, the Editor of the 
following pages was informed by a friend, that a 
Gentleman of his acquaintance, recently arrived from 
Cadiz, had accidentally recognised an American 
seaman, in the streets of London, whom he had 
seen, only a few months before, in the service of an 
English merchant in Cadiz, where his extraordinary 
history had excited considerable interest ; the man 
having been a long time in slavery in the interiour of 
Africa, and having resided several months at Tombuc- 

Such a report was too curious not to have attract- 
ed the peculiar attention of the Editor at all times ; 
but the interest of the story was much heightened at 
that particular moment, by the circumstance of the 
recent embarkation of Major Peddie and his compa- 
nions, to explore those very parts of Africa which this 
person was said to have visited : and the Editor en- 
treated' his friend to assist him, by all the means in 
his power, to find the seaman in question, in order to 
ascertain, whether he really had been where it was 
reported, and in the hope that, either by his infor- 
mation or his personal services, the man might be 



rendered useful to the views of Government in the 
exploratory expedition then on its way to Africa. 

Through the intervention of the Gentleman who 
had originally recognised the seaman, he was again 
found, and immediately brought to the office of the 
African Committee. The poor man, whose name was 
Robert Adams, was in very ill plight, both from hun- 
ger and nakedness. Scarcely recovered from a fit 
of sickness, he had, in that condition, begged his way 
from Holyhead to London, for the purpose of ob- 
taining, through the American Consul, a passage to 
his native country ; and he had already passed seve- 
ral nights in the open streets amongst many other 
distressed seamen, with whom the metropolis was 
at that period unfortunately crowded. 

No time was lost in questioning him respecting the 
length of his residence in Africa, the circumstances 
which led him thither, the places he had visited, and 
the means by which he had escaped. His answers 
disclosed so extraordinary a series of adventures and 
sufferings, as at first to excite a suspicion that his 
story was an invention ; and the gentlemen, by whom 
he was accompanied to the office, and who were pre- 
sent at his first examination, were decidedly of that 
opinion, when they considered how widely his ac- 
count of Tombuctoo differed from the notions gene- 
rally entertained of the magnificence of that city, 
and of the civilization of its inhabitants. The Edi- 
tor, however, received from this short examination, 
and from the plain and unpretending answers which 
the man returned to every question, a strong impres- 
sion in favour of his veracity. He accordingly took 
notes of the leading facts of his statement, particu- 
larly of the places he had visited, the distances ac- 
cording to his computations, and the direction in 
which his several journeys lay ; and having relieved 
his immediate necessities, and furnished him with a 


trifle for his future subsistence, he desired the man 
to attend him again in the course of a few days. 

It was nearly a week before Adams again made his 
appearance : but upon his return, being immediately 
interrogated upon all the leading points of his story, 
the Editor had the gratification to find, upon com- 
paring his answers with the account which he had 
given on his first examination, that they were in sub- 
stance the same, and repeated almost in the same 
terms. Thus strengthened in his previous opinion that 
the man's veracity was to be depended upon, the 
Editor resolved to take down in writing (the man 
himself being unable either to write or read) a full 
account of his travels and adventures, from the pe- 
riod of his departure from America in the ship 
" Charles," in which he was wrecked on the coast of 
Africa, until that of his return to Cadiz, from whence 
he had just arrived. 

With this intention, the Editor took measures to 
render Adams's situation more comfortable, by equip- 
ping him with decent clothes, of which he stood 
peculiarly in need. He was also supplied with a trifle 
in money, as an earnest of the future recompense 
which was promised to him, provided he would attend 
regularly every day until the whole of his story 
should be taken down. It was not, however, with- 
out considerable difficulty that the man could be 
persuaded to remain during the period thus requir- 
ed. He was anxious to return to his friends, after 
so long and perilous an absence, and had been re- 
commended, by the Consul of the United States, to 
join a transport of American seamen which was then 
on the point of sailing. His desire to be gone was 
increased by some rumours then in circulation, of a 
probable renewal of hostilities between Great Bri- 
tain and the United States. But his objections were 
at length overcome on receiving an engagement, 


that even if war should break out, and he, by any 
accident, be impressed, his discharge, either by pur- 
chase or substitute, should be immediately effected. 
Upon this understanding, he consented to remain as 
long as his presence should be required. 

The Editor has been induced to enter into this de- 
tail, for the satisfaction of those who might be dispos- 
ed to believe that Adams had obtruded his story 
upon his hearers, for the purpose either of exciting 
their compassion, or of profiting by their credulity. 
To obviate such a suspicion, it is sufficient to shew, 
with what difficulty he was induced to remain in the 
country to tell his story ; and to state, that he was 
never known to solicit relief from any of the nume- 
rous gentlemen by whom he was seen and examined. 

Previous, however, to Adams's agreement to stay, 
a Committee of the African Company having met, 
the Editor laid before them the notes he had taken 
of the heads of his story, expressing at the same 
time his firm belief that the man had really been at 
Tombuctoo; and he had the satisfaction to find that 
the Members of the Committee concurred in his 
opinion of the credibility of the man's statements; 
in which belief they were afterwards confirmed by 
their personal examination of him. They strongly 
encouraged the Editor to proceed in the course 
which he had begun; and recommended him to omit 
no practicable means of securing the residence of 
Adams in this country, until all the information he 
could possibly give, had been obtained from him, — 
whether for the purpose of increasing our general 
knowledge of the interiour of Africa, or of obtain- 
ing information on particular points which might be 
useful to the expedition actually on foot. 

After this arrangement was completed, Adams at- 
tended the Editor for a few hours daily during the 
following fortnight or three weeks, for the purpose 


of answering his inquiries. During these examina- 
tions upwards of fifty gentlemen saw and interrogat- 
ed him at different times ; among whom there was 
not one who was not struck with the artlessness and 
good sense of Adams's replies, or who did not feel 
persuaded that he was relating simply the facts which 
he had seen, to the best of his recollection and be- 

The Narrative now presented to the publick, is the 
fruit of these interrogatories. 

It is proper to mention in this place, that all the 
information contained in the Narrative was drawn 
from Adams, not as a continuous and straight-forward 
story, but in answer to the. detached, and often un- 
connected, questions of the Editor, or of any gentle- 
men who happened to be present at his examina- 
tions ; for he related scarcely any thing without his 
attention being directed to the subject by a special 
inquiry. This explanation will be necessary, to ac- 
count for the very large portion of his Narrative 
devoted to the description of Tombuctoo; for it 
might otherwise appear extraordinary to some of 
Adams's readers, that his details respecting a place 
which occurs so early in his adventures, and of 
which his recollection might be presumed to be 
less vivid, should be so much more minute than 
those respecting any other place which he has visit- 
ed : but the fact is, that Tombuctoo being the point 
to which the curiosity and inquiries of all his examin- 
ers were mainly directed, his answers on that subject 
were thus swelled to the prominence which they pos- 
sess in the Narrative. 

It has already been stated, that the first inquiries 
of the Editor related to the places which Adams had 
visited, and the courses and distances of the journeys 
between them. Having obtained these particulars, 
he communicated them to a friend, who was desirous 


of examining their pretensions to accuracy by tracing 
them upon a map of Africa, from the point where 
Adams appears to have been wrecked. The result 
of this test, as may be seen in the Map prefixed to 
the Narrative, at the same time that it afforded a 
most convincing corroboration of the truth of his 
story, proved that the man possessed an accuracy of 
observation and memory that was quite astonishing. 

Being questioned how he came to have so minute 
a recollection of the exact number of days occupied 
in his long journeys from place to place, he answer- 
ed, that being obliged to travel almost naked under a 
burning sun, he always inquired, before setting out 
on a journey, how long it was expected to last. In 
the progress of it he kept an exact account ; and 
when it was finished, he never failed to notice whe- 
ther it had occupied a greater or lesser number of 
days than he had been taught to expect, or whether 
it had been completed exactly in the stated time. 

On asking him how he could venture to speak with 
confidence of the precise number of miles which he 
travelled on each day ; he replied, that he could 
easily recollect whether the camels on any particular 
journey, travelled well or ill ; and knowing that when 
they are heavily laden and badly supplied with pro- 
visions, they will not go more than from ten to fif- 
teen miles a day; but that, on the other hand, when 
they are fresh and lightly laden, they will travel from 
eighteen to twenty-five miles a day, he had reckoned 
the length of his journeys accordingly. 

When asked how he came to observe so minutely 
the directions in which he travelled ; he replied, that 
he always noticed in a morning whether the sun rose 
in his face, or not : and that his thoughts being for- 
ever turned to the consideration of how he should 
escape, he never omitted to remark, and as much as 
possible to impress on his recollection, the course he 


was travelling, and had travelled, and to make in- 
quiries on the subject. Being a sailor, he observed, 
he had the habit of noticing the course he was steer- 
ing at sea; and therefore found no difficulty in doing 
so, when traversing the Deserts of Africa, which 
looked like the sea in a calm. 

Enough, it is hoped, has been said to satisfy the 
Reader that the Narrative is genuine. But the Edi- 
tor, aware that it might be difficult to obtain credit 
for so extraordinary a story, was anxious, that Adams, 
before he left the country, should be seen and examin- 
ed by every gentleman who might w r ish it, or whose 
opinions would be most conclusive with the publick. 
Fortunately this wish was fully accomplished : for 
the story having come to the knowledge of Earl Ba- 
thurst, the Right Honourable the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, Major General Sir Willoughby Gordon, 
the Right Hon. Sir Joseph Banks, John Barrow, 
Esq.* George Harrison, Esq. Henry Goulburn, Esq. 
M. P. and other members of the Government who 
interest themselves in African affairs, and they hav- 
ing expressed a desire to see Adams, he waited upon 
them in person, and the Narrative was at the same 
time transmitted to them for their perusal. It is un- 
necessary to give stronger evidence of the general 
impression derived from this investigation than is af- 
forded by the fact, that the Lords of the Treasury 
were pleased to order to the poor man a handsome 
gratuity for his equipment and passage home : and 
Sir Willoughby Gordon, in a Letter which the Edi- 

* In mentioning the names of Sir Joseph Banks and Mr. Barrow, 
the Editor ought not to conceal that Adams had the misfortune, at his 
first interviews with these gentlemen, and previous to the conclusive 
corroborations which his story has since received, to excite some 
doubts in their minds by his account of Tombuctoo, and by his mis- 
takes on some subjects of natural history, (see Notes 15, 18, and 20,) 
but of the general truth of his Narrative they did not, even at thnr 
early period, entertain any doubts, 


tor had subsequently the honour to receive from him, 
expressed his opinion in the following words : " the 
perusal of his Statement, and the personal examina- 
tion of Adams, have entirely satisfied me of the truth 
of his deposition. If he should be proved an impos- 
tor, he will fee second only to Psalmanazar." 

Although the information thus obtained fromAdamg 
did not, in strictness, answer the specifick object 
for which it was sought, that of assisting Major Ped- 
die; yet as his extraordinary adventures, and his de- 
tails of Tombuctoo, were too curious to be suppress- 
ed, it was resolved, with a view to the gratification 
of the publick, and in some respects, in justice to 
Adams, that the Narrative should be printed for 
his sole benefit. It was accordingly about to be 
sent to the press in December last, unsupported by 
any external evidence beyond the considerations and 
opinions, contained in the preceding part of this 
Preface, which was written at that time. And as no 
sufficient reason then existed for any longer opposing 
Adams's wish to revisit his home, he embarked on 
board a vessel bound to New York; leaving until 
his return, (which he promised should take place in 
the Spring,) a large balance of the bounty of the 
Lords of the Treasury, and the expected profits of 
his Book ; but before his departure he communicated 
to the Editor such particulars of his family as might 
lead to the verification of his, and their, identity, if his 
return to this country should be prevented by his 

At this conjuncture an opportunity unexpectedly 
presented itself, of putting Adams's veracity to a 
decisive test on many important details of his Narra- 
tive; and the intended publication was consequently 



suspended until the result of this investigation should 
be ascertained. 

The circumstance which produced this fortunate 
delay, was notice of the arrival in England of Mr. 
Dupuis, the British Vice-Consul at Mogadore ; to 
whose interference Adams had ascribed his ransom ; 
and to whom, consequently, the truth or falsehood 
of many of his statements must of necessity be known. 
No time was lost in obtaining an interview with this 
gentleman : and the satisfactory answers returned 
by him to the Editor's first inquiries, led to further 
trespasses on his kindness and his leisure ; which ter- 
minated in his consenting, at the earnest solicitation 
of the Editor, to undertake the perusal of the entire 
Narrative, and to communicate in writing whatever 
observations, whether confirmatory or otherwise, 
might occur to him in the course of its examination. 

The general result of this scrutiny, so satisfacto- 
ry to the previous believers of Adams, is contained 
in the following Letter from Mr. Dupuis, which is 
too interesting and important to admit of any 

* " London, 31sl January, 1816. 

" In compliance with your request, I have great 
pleasure in communicating to you all the particulars 
with which I am acquainted, respecting the Ameri- 
can seaman who is supposed to have been at Tim- 
buctoo ; of whom I have a distinct recollection. 

"In the latter end of the year 1810, 1 was informed, 
at Mogadore, that the ship Charles, of New York, 
to which that seaman belonged, was wrecked on 
the Western Coast of Africa, near the latitude of 
Cape Blanco : and about three months after her 
loss, I was fortunate enough to ransom three of her 
crew; who informed me that their Captain was dead, 



that the rest of the crew were in slavery, and that 
two of them, in particular, had been carried away 
by the Arabs in an easterly direction across the De- 
sert, and would probably never be heard of again. 
Some time after this, I heard that the mate and one 
seaman were at Wed-Noon ; and I accordingly tried 
to effect their liberation; but after a considerable 
time spent in this endeavour, I could neither suc- 
ceed in that object, nor in obtaining any information 
respecting the rest of the crew. At length, nearly 
two years after the wreck of the Charles, I acciden- 
tally heard that a Christian was at El Kabla, a re- 
mote Douar in the Desert, in a south-east direction 
from Mogadore; and subsequently I heard of the 
arrival of the same individual at Wed-Noon ; from 
whence, after a tedious negociation, I ultimately ob- 
tained his release about a year afterwards. 

" The appearance, features and dress of this man 
upon his arrival at Mogadore, so perfectly resembled 
those of an Arab, or rather of a Shilluh, his head 
being shaved, and his beard scanty and black, that I 
had difficulty at first in believing him to be a Chris- 
tian. When I spoke to him in English he answered 
me in a mixture of Arabick and broken English, and 
sometimes in Arabick only. At this early period I 
could not help remarking, that his pronunciation of 
Arabick resembled that of a Negro, but concluded 
that it was occasioned by his intercourse with Ne- 
gro slaves. 

" Like most other Christians after a long captivity 
and severe treatment among the Arabs, he appeared 
upon his first arrival exceedingly stupid and insensi- 
ble ; and he scarcely spoke to any one : but he soon 
began to show great thankfulness for his ransom, and 
willingly assisted in arranging and cultivating a small 
garden, and in other employments, which I gave him 
with a view of diverting his thoughts. About ten or 


twelve days afterwards his faculties seemed pretty- 
well restored, and his reserve had in a great mea- 
sure worn off; and about this period, having been 
informed by a person with whom he conversed, 
that he had visited the Negro country, I began to 
inquire of him the extent of his travels in the De- 
sert ; suppressing every appearance of peculiar cu- 
riosity, or of expecting any thing extraordinary from 
his answers. He then related to me, with the 
greatest simplicity, the manner in which he had been 
wrecked, and afterwards carried away to the east- 
ward, to Timbuctoo ; the misfortunes and sufferings 
of the party which he accompanied, his return across 
the Desert, and his ultimate arrival at Wed-Noon. 
What he dwelt upon with most force and earnest- 
ness during this recital, were the particulars of the 
brutal treatment which he experienced from the 
Arabs at El Kabla and Wed-Noon. He did not ap- 
pear to attach any importance to the fact of his 
having been at Timbuctoo: and the only strong 
feeling which he expressed respecting it, was that of 
dread, with which some of the Negroes had inspired 
him, who, he said, were sorcerers, and possessed the 
power of destroying their enemies by witchcraft. 

" The probability of the events, the manner of 
his relating them, and the correspondence of his 
description of places with what information 1 pos- 
sessed respecting them, led me to attach a conside- 
rable degree of credit to his Narrative. After re- 
peated examinations, in which I found him uniformly 
clear and consistent in his accounts, I sent for seve- 
ral respectable traders who had been at Timbuc- 
too ; and these persons, after examining him respect- 
ing the situation of that city and of other places, 
and respecting the objects which he had seen there, 
assured me that they had no doubt of his having 
been where he described. So strongly was my be- 


lief in the truth and accuracy of his recital now con- 
firmed, that I wrote a detail of the circumstances to 
Mr. Simpson, Consul-General of the United States 
at Tangier : I made a chart, on which I traced his 
course ; and observed, that it extended eastward 
nearly to the supposed situation of Timbuctoo : I 
also took down in writing an account of his travels, 
which I regret that I left amongst my papers at Mo- 
gadore ; and although in doing this I had occasion 
to make him repeat his story several times, I never 
found that he differed in any important particular 
from the tale he told at first. 

44 The Narrative which you have transmitted to 
me appears, after a minute examination, and to the 
best of my recollection, to be the same, in substance, 
as that which I received from him at Mogadore. 
The chain of events is uniformly the same ; but I 
think he entered more into detail on many points, in 
the relation which he gave to me. I do not enlarge 
upon this subject here, having pointed out in the 
Notes which I have made on the Narrative, the few 
passages, in which I found it differ materially from 
what! recollect of his statements at Mogadore. I 
have also mentioned such circumstances as corro- 
borated any part of his statements ; and I have ad- 
ded, according to your desire, such illustrations or in- 
cidental information, as occurred to me in perusing 
the Narrative. 

" Being quite satisfied from your description of 
the person of the American seaman, and from the 
internal evidence of the Narrative, that 4 Robert 
Adams* is the identical individual who was with me 
at Mogadore, I must not, however, omit to inform 
you, that the name by which he went in Africa was 
Benjamin Rose ; by which name also he was known 
to those of the crew of the Charles who were ran- 


"I cannot say that I am much surprised at this 
circumstance, because I recollect that he once hint- 
ed, during his residence at Mogadore, that ; Benja- 
min Rose' was not his real name : and from the 
Ereat apprehensions which he always discovered, 
;st he should fall in with, or be impressed by a 
British Man of War, as well as from the anxiety 
which he shewed on being sent to Tangier, so near 
to Gibraltar, I could not help suspecting that he 
might have some reasons of his own, connected with 
the British Naval service, for going under a feigned 
name. This conjecture was in some degree con- 
firmed by an acknowledgment which he made, that 
he had once been on board a British Man of War, 
either on service, or detained as a prisoner. 

" There is another circumstance which he men- 
tioned to me at Mogadore, which may possibly have 
led to this change of name. He told me that he had 
quitted America to avoid a prosecution with which 
he was threatened for the consequences of an amour, 
which he was unwilling to make good by marriage. 
But on the whole, I am disposed to think that the 
former was the real cause; since he never express- 
ed any reluctance to go to America, but always 
seemed to dread the idea of visiting Europe. I 
never doubted at Mogadore that he was an Ameri- 
can, as he stated ; and on one occasion, he discover- 
ed an involuntary exultation at the sight of the 
American flag, which seemed quite convincing. He 
told me that he was born up the river of New York, 
where his father lived when he quitted America ; 
and I learnt, either from himself or from some other 
of the Charles's crew, that his mother was a Mulat- 
to, which circumstance his features and complex- 
ion seemed to confirm. 

" On the whole, as I consider it not improbable 
that Adams may be his real name, and being at all 


events quite satisfied, that he is the person whom I 
knew at Mogadore, I have, (to avoid confusion) 
adopted the name which he bears in the Narrative, 
when I speak of him in my Notes. 

" I shall be very happy if this explanation, and 
the details into which I have entered in the Notes, 
prove of any interest: if you think them of sufficient 
importance, I can have no possible ground for ob- 
jecting to their being made pubhck. 


Fortified by this important testimony, the Narra* 
tive is now presented to the publick, with a guaran- 
tee for its substantial veracity, which happily su- 
persedes, though it does not render the less interest- 
ing, the presumptive and internal evidence to which 
the Reader's attention has already been directed. 

The Editor reserves for another place, a brief 
review of the extent to which Mr. Dupuis' com- 
munications thus confirm the Narrative ; together 
with an examination of those parts of it which still 
rest on the unsupported authority of the Narrator. 
But he cannot omit this, the earliest, opportunity, 
of publicly acknowledging his great personal obli- 
gations to that gentleman, not merely for his ex- 
amination of the Narrative, and for the confirma- 
tion which his Letter and Notes have lent to it, 
but peculiarly for the ready kindness with which 
he has yielded to the Editor's request, in extend- 
ing his interesting remarks on some particular oc- 
casions, further than the mere confirmation of 
Adams's Narrative in strictness seemed to require. 

To this additional encroachment on the leisure of 
Mr. Dupuis, the Editor was impelled by information, 
that few persons were better qualified to give origi- 
nal and accurate details respecting the natives of 
Barbary and the Desert;— a residence of eight years 


in the dominions of the Emperour of Morocco, — 
(more than half of which period in an official charac- 
ter,) — and an eminent proficiency in the Arabick 
language, and in its very difficult pronunciation, 
having* afforded to him facilities of accurate com- 
munication with the natives, to which very few of 
our countrymen have ever attained. 

The Editor's particular acknowledgments are 
also due to two gentlemen, members of the African 
Committee (whom he should have been glad to have 
had permission to name,) whose contributions will 
be found in this publication : to the one, for a 
Dissertation of great practical importance on the Up- 
per Regions of the Niger, inserted in the Appendix, 
No. I ; — and to the other, for the Map already 
alluded to, and for various Notes and Remarks with 
which, during the Editor's temporary absence, from 
ill health, he has had the kindness to illustrate the 

In conclusion, the Editor has only to add the as- 
surance (which however he trusts is hardly neces- 
sary,) that the Narrative itself is precisely in the same 
state now, as when it was read at the offices of 
the Colonial Secretary of State, and of the Quarter- 
Master-General ; — not a single liberty either of ad- 
dition or suppression having been taken with the 
plain statements of Adams : even the imperfect or- 
thography of the names of places, as they were first 
written to imitate Adams's pronunciation, remains 
uncorrected; in order that the Reader may judge 
for himself of Adams's approach to accuracy, in this 
respect, by comparing his recollections of the names 
of places and persons, with those accurately furnish- 
ed by Mr. Dupuis. 

April 30th, 1816. 


In conformity with the reported computation of the 
master of the " Charles," the scene of the shipwreck 
has been placed in the map four hundred miles north 
of the Senegal, or about the 22d. degree of north 

The ruled line drawn from this point represents 
Adams's recollected courses to Tombuctoo and 
Wed-Noon, extracted from the narrative at his high- 
est estimates of distance.* The dotted line from the 
same point is given as the assumed real track of these 
journeys : being an adaptation of the former line to 
the positions assigned by the best authorities to the 
cities of Tombuctoo and Wed-Noon; and the differ- 
ence between thsee two lines will shew the extent of 
allowance for errours in reckoning, which Adams's 
statements appear to require. 

It is evident, however, that the accuracy of the 
first part of these journeys (from the coast to 
Tombuctoo) must depend altogether upon the cor- 
rectness of the assumed point of departure from 
which it is traced ; and it will probably be remarked, 
that as the fact of the shipwreck proves the master 
to have been mistaken in his estimate of longitude, 
we may fairly presume that he was at least equally 
mistaken in his latitude ; since the known direction 
of the currents which prevail on this part of the 
African coast (by which he was probably misled) 

* See the Table in Note 60. 


would doubtless carry the ship at least as far to the 
southward of her reckoning, as the fact of the wreck 
proves that she was carried to the eastward. 

Admitting the force of this consideration, we may 
observe, that in the degree in which it tends to in- 
validate the accuracy of the master's estimate, it cor- 
roborates the precision of Adams's recollections — 
his line of journey (as now traced from the master's 
position of the shipwreck,) lying actually a little 
further to the north than is requisite to bring him to 
the supposed situation of Tombuctoo. 

There is not, however, any sufficient ground for 
believing, that Captain Horton's estimates, after the 
loss of his ship, did notinclude, all the allowances for 
the effect of the currents, which we are now contem- 
plating, and which that misfortune was calculated to 
suggest; and we are, consequently, not at liberty to 
deviate from his opinion merely to fit the circum- 
stances to Adams's story. Nevertheless, this opi- 
nion (which may be erroneous) must be taken, in 
conjunction with Adams's description of the place 
where they were cast away ; and the only certain 
conclusion thusdeducible from the narrative appears 
to be, — that the " Charles" was wrecked on a ledge 
of low rocks, projecting from a level sandy coast, not 
far from the latitude of Cape Blanco. 

With respect to other positions in the map, we 
have only to explain, — that the latitude of Park's 
lines of journey from the Gambia to Silla is adjusted 
from the data afforded by his last mission ; but that 
Major Rennell's situation of Tombuctoo has been 

A conjectural junction has been suggested be- 
tween Adams's river La Mar Zarah and the Niger: 
and a suppositious course has also been assigned to 
the latter river, above the point to which Park's per- 



sonal observation extended, in order to illustrate the 
question discussed in the Appendix, No. I. 

In a publication professedly intended to promote, 
in however trifling a degree, our acquaintance with 
the interiour of Africa, it has not appeared improper 
to advert to the question of the termination of the 
Niger; and the outline of the map has accordingly 
been extended to the Zaire and the Nile, in order to 
afford a glance at the great points of this much agi- 
tated question. It is not, however, our intention to 
mix further in this discussion. The problem which 
has excited so strong an interest, is now, we trust, 
in a fair way of being satisfactorily solved, by the 
joint labours of the double expedition which is actu- 
ally on foot; and it has been, in the mean time, so 
ably illustrated in all its parts, by Major Rennell in 
his Geographical Illustrations of Park's first Travels, 
— by the Editor of Park's Second Mission, — and 
by the most respectable of our periodical publica- 
tions, that it would appear a little presumptuous in 
us to expect that we could throw any new interest 
into the discussion. But desirous of contributing 
our mite of information to the facts upon which the 
discussion itself is founded, we shall offer no apology 
for inserting, in this place, the substance of a com- 
munication with which we have been favoured by a 
gentleman upon whose statements we can rely, and 
who has resided, at different intervals, a considera- 
ble time at the settlement of Lagos, and at other sta- 
tions on the coast of the Bight of Benin. 

We learn from our informant that the Haoussa* 
traders who, previous to the abolition of the slave 
trade, were continually to be met with at Lagos, still 
come down to that mart, though in smaller bodies. 
The result of his frequent communications with them 

* Pronounced by the Negroes as ifit were written A-Houssa. 


respecting the journey to their own country and the 
Negro nations through which it lay, has strongly 
persuaded him of the practicability of a body of 
Europeans penetrating in that direction to the Ni- 
ger, with proper precautions, under the protection 
of the Haoussa merchants : and of insuring their 
safe return by certain arrangements to be made be- 
tween the adventurers themselves, (countenanced 
by the authority of the Governours of the neigh- 
bouring forts,) — their Haoussa conductors, and the 
settled native traders on the coast. The principal 
Negro nation on the journey are the Joos,* a pow- 
erful and not ill disposed people ; and, nearer the 
coast, (avoiding the Dahomey territories,) the 
Anagoos, and the Mahees ; the latter of whom are 
stated to be an industrious people and good plant- 
ers. Cowries alone would be necessary, for suste- 
nance or presents, during the whole of the journey. 
But it is principally with reference to the nature 
of the country which lies between the coast and 
Haoussa that we notice this communication. The 
traders describe their journey to the coast as occu- 
pying between three and four months, which is as 
much time as they require for the journey from 
Haoussa to the Gambia; the difficulties and delays 
incidental to the former journey counterbalancing its 
shorter distance. These difficulties are invariably 
described as resulting from the numerous rivers, mo- 
rasses, and large lakes which intersect the countries 
between Haoussa and the coast. Some of these 
lakes are crossed by the traders on rafts of a large 
size, capable of transporting many passengers and 
much merchandise at one passage j and here the 
travellers are often detained a considerable time 
until a sufficiently large freight of passengers and 

* Yos, or Jyos, in D'Anville's maps. 


goods happens to be collected. On no occasion 
does our informant recollect that the Haoussa 
traders have spoken of a range of mountains, which 
they had to cross in coming down from their own 
country, and he has no idea that any such range ex- 
ists in that direction, as the traders spoke only of 
morasses and other impediments from water. 

We hardly need to observe, that these statements 
appear to remove some of the difficulties which have 
been objected to the prolongation of the course of 
the Niger to the southward, either to the kingdom of 
Congo or to the Gulf of Guinea, in consequence of 
the supposed barrier of the Jibbel Kumri, or moun- 
tains of the moon; but the details are of course too 
vague to supply any argument in favour of either of 
the particular systems here alluded to respecting the 
termination of the Niger, — either of the conjectural 
theory of Reichard, or of the more reasoned system 
which Park adopted, and which is so ably illustrated 
and enforced in one of the publications* to which 
we have already alluded. 

* See the Quarterly Review for April 1815, Art. VI. 



Departure from New York on board the "Charles. "....Names of the 
Crew.. ..Arrival at Gibraltar.... Voyage to the Isle of Mayo. ...Igno- 
rance of the Captain.. ..The ship is wrecked on the Western coast of 
Africa.. ..The Crew saved,but are enslaved by the Moors. ...El Gazie... 
Description of the Moors, and their proceedings... .French Renegade 
....Sufferings of the Crew. ...Death of Captain Horton.... Separation 
of the Crew, and departure of the Moors from El Gazie.. ..Adams is 
conveyed eastward into the Desert. ...Mode of travelling.. ..Arrival at 
the encampment of the Moors. ...Employment there... .Expedition to 
steal Negro Slaves at Soudenny.... Sufferings in traversing the De- 
sert.. ..Arrival near Soudenny.... The Moors seize a Woman and two 
Children.... Are themselves surprized by the Negroes, taken prison- 
ers, and confined in the town.. ..Soudenny, and its inhabitants.. ..The 
prisoners are conveyed by a party of armed Negroes to Tombuctoo 
....Journey thither ; during which fourteen of the Moors are put 
to death. ...Arrival at Tombuctoo. 

Robert Adams, aged 25, born at Hudson, about one 
hundred miles up the North River, from New 
York, where his father was a sail maker, was brought 
up to the seafaring line, and made several voyages to 
Lisbon, Cadiz, Seville, and Liverpool. 

On the 17th of June, 1810, he sailed from New 
York in the ship Charles, John Horton master, of 
280 tons, Charles Still well owner; laden with flour, 
rice, and salted provisions? bound to Gibraltar. 


The crew consisted of the following persons : — 

Stephen Dolbie, mate, 

Thomas Williams, 

Martin Clarke, 

Unis Newsham, 

Nichofas (a Swede,) 

John Stephens, 
: I * I John Matthews, 
, James Davison, 
.*• • :t..?, ■■ .Robert Adams, 
shipped at New York. 

The vessel arrived in twenty-six days at Gibraltar, 
where the cargo was discharged. Here she was 
joined by Unis Nelson, another sailor : she lay at 
Gibraltar about a month, and after taking in sand 
ballast, 68 pipes of wine, some blue nankeens, and 
old iron, proceeded on her voyage, the Captain stat- 
ing that he was bound to the Isle of May, for salt, 
but afterwards it appeared that he was going on a 
trading voyage down the coast. (*) When they had 
been at sea about three weeks, Adams heard two of 
the crew, Newsham and Matthews, who were old 
sailors, and had been on the coast before, speaking 
to the mate, stating their opinion that the Captain 
did not know where he was steering : the ship's 
course was then south south-west : they said he 
ought to have steered to the northward of west* 
They had to beat against contrary winds for eight or 
nine days afterwards ; and on the 11th of October, 
about 3 o'clock in the morning, they heard breakers ; 
when Matthews, the man at the helm, told the mate, 
who was keeping watch, that he was sure they were 
near the shore ; to which the mate replied, that "he 
had better mind the helm, or his wages would be 

* These courses, whether from the fanlt of Adams's memory, or of 
the judgment of the "old sailors," hardly seem to warrant the conse- 
quences here ascribed to them. 


stopped." An hour afterwards the vessel struck, 
but there was so much fog that the shore could not 
be seen. The boat was immediately hoisted out, 
and the mate and three seamen got into it, but it 
instantly swamped. The four persons who were in 
it, swam, or were cast ashore by the surf; soon after 
a sea washed off four or five more of the crew, in- 
cluding Adams ; but as all of the ship's company could 
swim, except Nicholas and the mate, they reached 
the shore without much difficulty ; the latter two 
were nearly exhausted, but no lives were lost. When 
morning came, it appeared that the ship had struck 
on a reef of rocks that extended about three quar- 
ters of a mile into the sea, and were more than 
twelve feet above the surface at low water. The 
place, according to the Captain's reckoning, was 
about four hundred miles to the northward of Sene- 

Soon after break of day they were surrounded by- 
thirty or forty Moors, who were engaged in fishing 
on that coast, by whom Captain Horton and the ship's 
company were made prisoners. The vessel bilged : 
the cargo was almost entirely lost ; and what re- 
mained of the wreck was burnt by the Moors, for the 
copper bolts and sheathing ; but as they had no tools 
wherewith to take off the copper, they saved little 
more than the bolls. The place which was called 
El Gazie, ( 2 ) was a low sandy beach, having no trees 
in sight, nor any verdure. There was no appear- 
ance of mountain or hill ; nor (excepting only the 
rock on which the ship was wrecked) any thing but 
sand as far as the eve could reach. 

The Moors were straight haired, but quite black; 
their dress consisted of little more than a rug or a 
skin round their waist, their upper parts and from 
their knees downwards, being wholly naked. The 
men had neither shoes nor hats, but wore their hair 


very long : the women had a little dirty rag round their 
heads by way of turban. They were living in tents 
made of stutFlike a coarse blanket, of goat's hair, 
and sheep's wool interwoven; but some of them were 
without tents, until they were enabled to make them 
of the sails of the ship ; out of which they also made 
themselves clothes. The men were circumcised. 
They appeared to be provided with no cooking uten- 
sil whatever. Their mode of dressing fish was by 
drying it in the sun, cutting it into thin pieces, and 
letting it broil on the hot sand ; but they were better 
off after the wreck, as they secured several pots, 
saucepans, &c. So extremely indigent were these 
people, that when unable to catch fish, they were in 
danger of starving ; and in the course of fourteen 
days, or thereabouts, that they remained at El Gazie, 
they were three or four days without fish, owing to 
the want of proper tackle. Among the articles in a 
chest that floated ashore, was fishing tackle, which 
the crew of the Charles offered to shew the Moors 
how to use, and to assist them in fishing ; but they 
refused to be instructed, or to receive any assistance. 
At length, having accumulated enough to load a ca- 
mel, they raised their tents and departed, taking 
with them their prisoners. 

Besides the Moors, there was a young man in ap- 
pearance a Frenchman, but dressed like a Moor. 
As captain Horton spoke French, he conversed with 
this man, who told him that about a year before he 
had made his escape from Santa Cruz, in the Canary 
Islands, in a small vessel, ,with some other French- 
men ; and that having appoached the shore to pro- 
cure goats, they had found it impossible to get the 
vessel off again, on account of the surf, and were ta- 
ken prisoners ; his companions had been sent up the 
country. As he associated, and ate and slept with 


the Moors, Adams was of opinion that he had turned 
Mohammedan, although he assured Captain Horton 
that he had not done so. ( 3 ) 

On the landing of the Captain and crew, the 
Moors stripped all of them naked, and hid the clothes 
under ground, as well as the articles which they 
had collected from the ship, or which had floated 
ashore. Being thus exposed to a scorching sun, 
their skins became dreadfully blistered, and at night 
they were obliged to dig holes in the sand to sleep 
in, for the sake of coolness. 

This was not the only evil they had to encounter, 
for as the Moors swarmed with lice, Adams and his 
companions soon became covered with them. 

About a week after landing, the Captain became 
extremely ill, and having expressed himself violently 
on the occasion of his being stripped, and frequently 
afterwards using loud and coarse language, and me- 
nacing gestures, he was at length seized by jhe 
Moors and put to death. The instrument they used 
on the occasion was a sword, which they found in 
the cabin : the Captain used no resistance ; he was 
in fact so reduced by sickness, and was in such a 
state of despondency, that he frequently declared he 
wished for death. It was the manner of the Cap- 
tain that gave offence, as the Moors could not un- 
derstand what he said, any more than he could un- 
derstand them. One thing in particular, about 
which Adams understood the Moors to quarrel with 
him was, that as he was extremely dirty, and (like 
all the party) covered with vermin, they wished him 
to go down to the sea to wash, and made signs for 
him to do so. But partly from an obstinacy of dis- 

Eosition, and partly from the lassitude brought on 
y sickness and despair, he refused to do as de- 
sired; and whenever pressed to do so, used the 
most threatening looks, actions, and words. ( 4 ) 


When the vessel struck, the Captain gave orders 
that the heads of the wine casks should be knocked 
in, in the hope of thereby making her float ; and 
when he found that did not succeed, he ordered that 
the guns, flour, anchors, &c. should be thrown over- 
board, and the water started. In the confusion and 
alarm, the muskets and powder were also thrown 
overboard ; otherwise the party might have had the 
means of defending themselves against the Moors 
who appeared on their first landing, the number 
of whom did not exceed forty or fifty people ; but 
though the Captain was a man of courage, he ap- 
peared to be utterly deprived of reflection after the 
vessel had struck. He was also an excellent navi- 
gator, but relied too much upon the Mate. 

After they had remained about ten or twelve 
days, until the ship and materials had quite disap- 
peared, the Moors made preparation to depart, and 
divided the prisoners among them, carefully hiding 
in the sand every thing they had saved from the 
wreck. Adams, the Mate, and Newsham were left 
in the possession of about twenty Moors, (men, 
women, and children,) who quitted the sea coast, 
having four camels, three of which they loaded with 
water, and the other with fish and baggage. They 
travelled very irregularly, sometimes going only ten 
or twelve miles a day, but often considerably more, 
making upon an average about fifteen miles a day ; 
occasionally going two or three days without stop- 
ping, except at night, at others resting a day or 
two ; on which occasions they pitched the tents to 
recruit the camels. 

Except one woman, who had an infant, which she 
carried on her back, the whole of the party went on 
foot. The route was to the eastward, but inclining 
rather to the south than to the north of east, across 
a desert sandy plain, with occasional low hills ajnd 


stones. At the end of about thirty days, during 
which they did not see any human being, they ar- 
rived at a place, the name of which Adams did not 
hear, where they found about thirty or forty tents, 
and a pool of water, surrounded by a few shrubs, 
which was the only water they had met with since 
quitting the coast. 

In the first week after their arrival, Adams and 
his companions being greatly fatigued, were not re- 
quired to do any work, but at the end of that time 
they were put to tend some goats and sheep, which 
were the first they had seen. About this time John 
Stevens arrived, under charge of a Moor, and was 
sent to work in company with Adams. Stephens 
was a Portuguese, about eighteen years of age. 
At this place they remained about a month. 

The Mate offered the Moors one hundred dollars 
to take the party to Senegal, which was called by 
the Moors Agadeer Bomba,* which they refused; 
but, as Adams understood, they were willing to take 
them to a place called Suerra. ( 5 ) Not being ac- 
quainted with this place, they objected to go thith- 
er ; but when the}* began to learn the language, 
they found that what was called Suerra, meant 
Mogadore, The Mate and Newsham remained only 
a few days at the place at which they were stop- 
ping, when they went away with some of the Moors 
in a northerly direction. It was very much the de- 
sire of Adams and Stevens to continue in company 
with the Mate and the others, but they were not 
permitted, i 6 ) 

Some days after, it was proposed by the Moors to 
Adams and Stevens to accompany them in an expe- 
dition to Soudenny to procure slaves. It was with 
S^reat difficulty they could understand this proposal, 

* " Agadeer Doma." D, 


but the Moors made themselves intelligible by point* 
ing to some Negro boys who were employed in 
taking care of sheep and goats ; and §s they fre- 
quently mentioned the word " Suerra," Adams at 
last made out, that if he and Stevens would join 
in the expedition, they should be taken to that place. 
Being in the power of the Moors, they had no 
option, and having therefore signified their consent, 
the party, consisting of about eighteen Moors and 
the two whites, set off for Soudenny, taking with 
them nine camels, laden with water and barly flour, 
procured at a place at which they had stopped. 
After proceeding two days, they were joined by 
twelve other Moors, and three more camels, and 
then the whole party set off to cross the Desert,* 
proceeding south southeast; travelling at first at 
the rate of from Mteen to twenty miles a day. It 
was the expectation of the Moors, that by travel- 
ling at that rate for ten days, they should come to 
a place where water was to be procured ; but the 
weather having been exceedingly hot, and the sea- 
son dry, when they arrived at the spot (which they 
did in ten days) where the water was expected, 
which seemed to be a well about eight or nine feet 
deep, it was found quite dry. By this time their 
water running short, they resorted to the expedient 
of mixing the remainder of their stock with the cam- 
els' urine, and then set out again on their journey 
to Soudenny, pursuing a course rather more south- 
erly, in the neighbourhood of which they arrived in 
about four days more. About two days journey 
from this place they appeared to have left the De- 
sert, the country began to be hilly, and they met with 
some small trees. 

* Adams calls " the Desert" only those parts of the great Sahara, 
which consist of loose sand, without any traces of vegetation. 


Soudenny is a small Negro village, having grass 
and shrubs growing about it, and a small brook of 
water. The houses are built of clay, the roofs be- 
ing composed of sticks laid flat, with clay on the 
top. For a week or thereabouts, after arriving in 
the neighbourhood of this place, the party conceal- 
ed themselves amongst the hills and bushes, lying 
in wait for the inhabitants ; when they seized upon 
a woman with a child in her arms, and two children 
(boys,) whom they found walking in the evening 
near the town. ( T ) 

During the next four or five days the party re- 
mained concealed, when one evening, as they were 
ail lying on the ground, a large party of Negroes, 
(consisting of forty or fidy men,) made their ap- 
pearance, armed with daggers and bows and ar- 
rows, who surrounded and took them all prisoners, 
without the least resistance being attempted, and 
carried them into the town ; tying the hands of some, 
and driving the whole party before them. During 
the night, above one hundred Negroes kept watch 
over them. The next day they were taken before 
the Governour, or chief person, named Mahamoud, 
a remarkably ugly Negro, who ordered that they 
should all be imprisoned. The place of confinement 
was a mere mud wall, about six feet high, from 
whence they might readily have escaped (though 
strongly guarded,) if the Moors had been enterpris- 
ing ; but they were a cowardly set. Here they were 
kept three or four days, for the purpose, as it after- 
wards appeared, of being sent forward to Tombuctoo, 
which Adams concluded to be the residence of the 
king of the country. 

The better order of natives at Soudenny wear 
blue nankeen, in the manner of a frock; but are en- 
tirely without shoes, hats, or turbans, except the 
Chief, who at times wears a blue turban. The dis- 


tinguishing ornament of the Chief is some gold work- 
ed on the shoulder of his frock, in the manner of an 
epaulette ; some of the officers about him were or- 
namented in a similar manner, but with smaller 
epaulettes. Their arms were bows and arrows; the 
former about four feet long, with strings made of the 
skin of some animal ; the arrows were about a foot 
and a half long, not feathered. The Negroes frequent- 
ly practised shooting at small marks of clay, which 
they scarcely ever missed at fifteen or twenty yards 

The houses have only a ground floor ; and are 
without furniture or utensils, except wooden bowls, 
and mats made of grass. They never make fires 
in their houses. The lower order of people wear 
blankets, which they buy from the Moors. After 
remaining about four days at Soudenny, the pri- 
soners were sent to Tombuctoo, under an escort of 
about sixty armed men, having about eighteen cam- 
els and dromedaries. 

During the first ten days, they proceeded east- 
ward at the rate of about fifteen to twenty miles a 
day, the prisoners and most of the Negroes walk- 
ing, the officers riding, two upon each camel or 
dromedary. As the prisoners were all impressed 
with the belief that they were going to execution, 
several of the Moors attempted to escape } and in 
consequence, after a short consultation, fourteen 
were put to death, by being beheaded at a small 
village at which they then arrived ; and as a ter- 
rour to the rest, the head of one of them was 
hung round the neck of a camel for three days until 
it became so putrid that they were obliged to re- 
move it. At this village the natives wore gold rings 
in their ears, sometimes two rings in each ear. 
They had a hole through the cartilage of the nose, 
wide enough to admit a thick quill, in which Adams 



saw some of the natives wear a large ring of an 
oval shape, that hung down to the mouth. 

They waited only one day at this place, and then 
proceeded towards Tombuctoo, shaping their course 
to the northward of east : and quickening their pace 
to the rate of twenty miles a day, they completed 
their journey in fifteen days. 

I 40 j 


Imprisonment of the Moors at Toinbuctoo.... Adams an object of cu*- 
riosity, and kindly treated. ...King and Queen; Woollo and Fatima 
....Their Dress, Ceremonies, Residence, and Attendants... .Muskets 
....Curiosity of the Natives to see Adams. ...Tombuctoo.. ..La Mar 
Zarah Canoes... .Fish Fruits.. ..Vegetables Grain. ...Food pre- 
pared from the Guinea-corn. ...Animals. ...Heirie.... Elephant-hunt.... 
Birds : Ostriches. ...Sulphur.. ..Poisonous preparation of the Negroes 
for their Arrows.. ..Persons and Habits of the Negroes.... Incisions in 
their Faces Dress Ornaments, and Customs Musical Instru- 
ments. ...Dancing. ...Military Excursions against Bambarra.... Slaves 
....Criminal Punishments. ...Articles of Trade.... Jealous precautions 
of the Negroes against the Moors ; their kindness to Adams. ...Rain 
....Names of Countries.. ..Words in the Language of Tombuctoo. 

Upon their arrival at Tombuctoo, the whole party 
was immediately taken before the King, who order- 
ed the Moors into prison, but treated Adams and 
the Portuguese boy as curiosities ; taking them to 
his house, where they remained during their resi- 
dence at Tombuctoo. 

For some time after their arrival, the Queen and 
her female attendants used to sit and look at Adams 
and his companion for hours together. She treated 
them with great kindness, and at the first interview 
offered them some bread baked under ashes. 

The King and Queen, the former of whom was 
named Woollo, the latter Fatima, ( 8 ) were very old 
gray-headed people. The Queen was extremely 
fat. Her dress was of blue nankeen, edged with 
gold lace round the bosom and on the shoulder, 
and having a belt or a stripe of the same material 
halfway down the dress, which came only a few 


inches below the knees. The dress of the other 
females of Tombuctoo, though less ornamented than 
that of the Queen, was in the same short fashion ; 
so that as they wore no close under garments, they 
might, when sitting on the ground, as far as decen- 
cy was concerned, as well have had no covering at 
all. The Queen's head-dress consisted of a blue 
nankeen turban ; but this was worn only upon occa- 
sions of ceremony, or when she walked out. Be- 
sides the turban, she had her hair stuck full of bone 
ornaments of a square shape, about the size of dice, 
extremely white ; she had large g6ld hoop ear- 
rings, and many necklaces, some of them of gold, 
the others made of beads of various colours. She 
wore no shoes ; and, in consequence, her feet ap- 
peared to be as hard and dry " as the hoofs of an 

Besides the blue nankeen dress just described, 
the Queen sometimes wore an under-dress of white 
muslin ; at other times a red one. This colour was 
produced by the juice of a red root which grows in 
the neighbourhood, about a foot and a half long. 
Adams never saw any silks worn by the Queen or 
any other inhabitant of Tombuctoo ; for, although 
they have some silks brought by the Moors, they 
appeared to be used entirely for purposes of ex- 
ternal trade. 

The dress of the King was a blue nankeen frock 
decorated with gold, having gold epaulettes, and 
a broad wristband of the same metal. He sometimes 
wore a turban; but often went bare-headed. ( 9 ) 
When he walked through the town, he was generally 
a little in advance of his party. His subjects saluted 
him by inclinations of the head and body ; or by 
touching his head with their hands, and then kissing 

* Adams's expression. 


their hands. When he received his subjects in his 
palace, it was his custom to sit on the ground, and 
their mode of saluting him on such occasions was by 
kissing his head. 

The King's house, or palace, which is built of clay 
and grass, (not white-washed) consists of eight or 
ten small rooms on the ground floor ; and is surround- 
ed by a wall of the same materials, against part of 
which the house is built. The space within the 
wall is about half an acre. Whenever a trader ar- 
rives, he is required to bring his merchandise into 
this space for the inspection of the King, for the 
purpose, Adams thinks, (but is not certain,) of duties 
being charged upon it. ( 10 j The King's attendants, 
who are with him all the day, generally consist of 
about thirty persons, several of whom are armed 
with daggers and bows and arrows. Adams does 
not know if he had any family. 

In a store-room of the King's house Adams ob- 
served about twenty muskets, apparently of French 
manufacture, one of them double-barrelled; but he 
never saw them made use of. ( n ) 

For a considerable time after the arrival of Adams 
and his companion, the people used to come in 
crowds to stare at them; and he afterwards under- 
stood that many persons came several days' journey 
on purpose. The Moors remained closely confined 
in prison ; but Adams and the Portuguese boy had 
permission to visit them. At the end of about six 
months, there arrived a company of trading Moors 
with tobacco, who after some weeks ransomed 
the whole party. Adams does not know the pre- 
cise quantity of tobacco which was paid for them, 
but it consisted ot the lading of five camels, with 
the exception of about fifty pounds weight reserved 
by the Moors. These Moors seemed to be well 
known at Tombuctoo, which place, he understood, 



they were accustomed to visit every year during the 
rainy season. 

Tombuctoo is situated on a level plain, having a 
river about two hundred yards from the town, on 
the south-east side, named LaMar Zarah* The town 
appeared to Adams to cover as much ground as Lisbon. 
He is unable to give any idea of the number of its in- 
habitants; but as the houses are not built in streets, 
or with any regularity, its population, compared 
with that of the European towns, is by no means in 
proportion to its size. It has no walls, nor any 
thing resembling fortification. The houses are 
square, built of sticks, clay, and grass, with flat 
roofs of the same materials. The rooms are all on 
the ground floor, and are without any article of fur- 
niture, except earthen jars, wooden bowls, and mats 
made of grass, upon which the people sleep. He 
did not observe any houses, or any other buildings, 
constructed of stone. ( 12 ) 

The river La Mar Zarah is about three quarters 
of a mile wide at Tombuctoo, and appears to have, 
in this place, but little current, flowing to the south- 
west. About two miles from the town to the south- 
ward it runs between two high mountains, appa- 
rently as high as the mountains which Adams saw in 
Barbary : here it is about half a mile wide. The 
water of La Mar Zarah is rather brackish, but is 
commonly drunk by the natives ; there not being, 
as Adams believes, any wells at Tombuctoo. ( 13 ) 
The vessels used by the natives are small canoes 
for fishing, the largest of which is about ten feet 

* Or La Mar Zahr. It was not easy to fix the probable orthography 
of African names, from Adams's indistinct pronunciation. 



long, capable of carrying three men : they are built 
of fig-trees hollowed out, and caulked with grass, 
and are worked with paddles about six feet long. ( 14 ) 
The river is well stored with fish, chiefly of a sort 
which Adams took for the red mullet: there is also 
a large red fish, in shape somewhat like a salmon, 
and having teeth ; he thinks it is the same fish which 
is known in New York by the name of " sheep's- 
head." The common mode of cooking the fish is 
by boiling; but they never take out the entrails. 

The principal fruits at Tombuctoo are cocoa-nuts, 
dates, figs, pine-apples, and a sweet fruit about as 
large as an apple, with a stone about the size of a 

Elum stone. This latter was greatly esteemed ; and 
eing scarce, was preserved with care for the Roy- 
al Family. The leaves of this fruit resembled those 
of a peach. ( ,f ) 

The vegetables are carrots, turnips, sweet pota- 
toes, negro-beans, and cabbages; but the latter are 
eaten very small, and never grow to a solid head. 

The grain is principally rice and Guinea-corn. 
The cultivation of the soil at Tombuctoo requires 
very little labour, and is chiefly performed with a 
kind of hoe which the natives procure from the 
Moors, and which appears to be their only implement 
of husbandry. Adams never observed any cattle 
used in agriculture. 

The Guinea-corn grows five or six feet high, with 
a bushy head as large as a pint bottle, the grain 
being about the size of a mustard seed, of which 
each head contains about a double handful. This 
they beat upon a stone until they extract all the 
seed, and then they put it between two flat stones 
and grind it. These operations are performed by 
one person. The meal, when ground, is sifted 
through a small sieve made of grass. The coarse 
stuff is boiled for some time, after which the flour 


is mixed with it, and when well boiled together, it 
makes a thick mess like burgoo. This is put into 
a wooden dish, and a hole being made in the middle 
of the mess, some goats' milk is poured into it. The 
natives then sit on the ground, men, women and 
children, indiscriminately round the mess thus pre- 
pared, and eat it with their fingers. Even the King 
and Queen do the same, having neither spoons, 
knives, nor forks. In the preparation of this food 
for the King and Queen, they sometimes use butter, 
which is produced from goats' milk; and though 
soft and mixed with hair, it appeared to be consider- 
ed a great dainty. Some of the bowls out of which 
the natives eat are made of cocoa-nut shells; but 
most of them are of the trunk of the fig-tree hollow- 
ed out with chisels. 

The animals are elephants, cows, goats, (no 
horses,) ( w ) asses, camels, dromedaries, dogs, rab- 
bits, antelopes, and an animal called heirie, of the 
shape of a camel, but much smaller. These latter 
are only used by the Negroes for riding, as they are 
stubborn, and unfit to carry other burdens : they are 
excessively fleet, and will travel for days together at 
the rate of fifty miles a day. The Moors were very 
desirous of purchasing these animals, but the Ne- 
groes refused to sell them. ( 1T ) 

The elephants are taken by shooting with ar- 
rows pointed with a metal like steel, about a foot 
long, and exceedingly sharp. These arrows are steep- 
ed in a liquid of a black colour ; and when the ani- 
mal is wounded they let him go, but keep him in 
sight for three or four days, at the end of which he 
expires from the effects of the wound. Adams never 
saw more than one killed, which was at the distance 
of about two miles from the town. He was one 
evening speaking to a Negro, when they heard a 
whistling noise at a distance: as soon* as it was 


heard, the Negro said it was an elephant, and next 
morning at day-light he set off with his bow and ar- 
rows in pursuit of him. Adams, and the Portuguese 
boy, and many of the town's people accompanied 
him, until they came within about three quarters of 
a mile of the elephant, but were afraid to go any 
nearer on account of his prodigious size. The Ne- 
gro being mounted on a heirie, went close to him, 
riding at speed past his head : as he passed him he 
discharged an arrow, which struck the elephant near 
the shoulder, which instantly started, and went in 
pursuit of the man, striking his trunk against the 
ground with violence, and making a most tremendous 
roaring, which " might have been heard three miles 
off." Owing to thefleetness of the heirie, which ran 
the faster from fear, the elephant was soon left at 
a distance; and three days afterwards was found 
lying on the ground in a dying state, about a mile 
from the spot where it was shot. According to the 
best of Adams's recollection, it was at least twenty 
feet high ; and though of such an immense size, the 
natives said it was a young one. The legs were as 
thick as Adams's body ( 18 j The first operation of the 
Negroes was to take out the four tusks, the two 
largest of which were about fi\e feet long. They 
then cut off the legs, and pieces of lean from the 
hinder parts of the body, and carried them home ; 
where they skinned the flesh, and then exposed it to 
dry in the sun for two days. It was afterwards 
boiled, but proved to Adams's taste coarse food, 
the grain of the meat being as thick as a straw, and 
of a very strong flavour. The only thing eaten with 
it was salt, which is procured from a place called 
Tudenny Wells, which will be spoken of hereafter* 
Upon the occasion of the elephant being killed, the 
Negroes were greatly delighted ; and Adams fre- 
quently laughed with them, at the recollection of 


their appearance as they stood round the dead car- 
cass, all laughing and shewing their white teeth at 
once, which formed a ridiculous contrast with their 
black faces. 

The other wild animals which Adams saw were 
foxes, porcupines, baboons, wolves, and a large 
species of rat which frequents the river. He does 
not appear to have seen either hippopotami or aliga- 
tors. ( 19 ) 

Besides these, there is in the vicinity of Tombuc- 
too a most extraordinary animal named courcoo, some- 
what resembling a very large dog, but having an 
opening or hollow on its back like a pocket, in which 
it carries its prey. (^°) It has short pointed ears 
and a short tail. Its skin is of an uniform reddish- 
brown on its back, like a fox, but its belly is of a 
light-gray colour. It will ascend trees with great 
agility and gather cocoa-nuts, which Adams suppos- 
es to be a part of its food. But it also devours goats 
and even young children, and the Negroes were 
greatly afraid of it. Its cry is like that of an owl. 

The wolves are destructive to asses as well as 
goats. The foxes frequently carry off young goats 
and Guinea-fowls, particularly the former. Although 
he never saw either lions, tigers, or wild cats; yet 
the roaring of animals of these descriptions was 
heard every night in the neighbouring mountains. ( 21 ) 

The domestick birds are Guinea-fowls. The wild 
birds are ostriches, eagles, crows, owls, green par- 
rots, a large brown bird that lives upon fish, and 
several smaller birds. He does not recollect to have 
seen any swallows. ( 22 ) 

The ostriches are about double the size of a tur- 
key, quite wild, and go in "flocks. When any are ob- 
served in the day time, the place where they resort 
is marked, and they are caught at night by men 
mounted on heiries, who strike them with sticks* 




When they are first caught their feathers are very 
beautiful. The flesh of the ostrich is cooked with- 
out being previously dried in the sun, and is good 
eating, as well as the eggs, which are boiled: in 
fact, almost every thing which the Negroes of Tom- 
buctoo eat is boiled. 

The principal animal food eaten by the Negroes 
is goats' flesh. Adams did not see more than one 
cow killed during his stay; and then, he thinks,, it 
was on account of the animal's being in a declining 
state. The cows are very small, and but few in num- 
ber: some of them are milk-white; but the colour of 
the greater part is red. 

There are two sorts of ants at Tombuctoo ; the 
largest black, the smallest red ; which appear at 
times in prodigious numbers. He has also seen bees 
there ; but he has no recollection of having seen any 

Having occasionally at night seen a light like fire 
on the mountains to the southward of the town, 
Adams had the curiosity to visit them, and found 
a considerable quantity of sulphur, which the na- 
tives collected. The only use to which he has seen 
them apply this mineral, was to mix it with a sub- 
stance in black lumps which looked like opium, ( 23 ) 
for the purpose of making a liquid into which they 
dipped the heads of their arrows. It was with an ar- 
row so prepared that the elephant, before spoken of, 
was killed. 

The natives of Tombuctoo are a stout, healthy 
race, and are seldom sick, although they expose 
themselves by lying out in the sun at mid-day, 
when the heat is almost insupportable to a white 
man. It is the universal practice of both sexes to 
grease themselves all over with butter produced 
from goats' milk, which makes the skin smooth, and 
gives it a shining appearance. This is usually re- 


newed every day ; when neglected, the skin becomes 
rough, grayish, and extremely ugly. They usually 
sleep under cover at night ; but sometimes, in the 
hottest weather, they will lie exposed to the night 
air with little or no covering, notwithstanding that 
the fog which rises from the river descends like 
dew, and in fact, at that season, supplies the want of 

All the males of Tombuctoo have an incision on 
their faces from the top of the forehead down to the 
nose, from which proceed other lateral incisions over 
the eyebrows, into all of which is inserted a blue 
dye, produced from a kind of ore which is found in 
the neighbouring mountains. The women have al- 
so incisions on their faces, but in a different fashion ; 
the lines being from two to five in number, cut on 
each cheek bone, from the temple straight down- 
wards : they are also stained with blue. These in- 
cisions being made on the faces of both sexes when 
they are about twelve months old, the dying mate- 
rial which is inserted in them becomes' scarcely 
visible as they grow up. ( 25 ) 

Except the King and Queen and their companions, 
who had a change of dress about once a week, the 
people were in general very dirty, sometimes not 
washing themselves for twelve or fourteen days to- 
gether. Besides the Queen, who, as has been al- 
ready stated, wore a profusion of ivory and bone 
ornaments in her hair, some of a square shape, and 
others about as thick as a shilling, but rather small- 
er, (strings of which she also wore about her wrists 
and ancles) many of the women were decorated in a 
similar manner; and they seemed to consider hardly 
any favour too great to be conferred on the person 
who would make them a present of these precious 
ornaments. Gold ear-rings were much worn. Some 
of the women had also rings on their fingers ; but 



these appeared to Adams to be of brass ; and as 
many of the latter had letters upon them (but whe- 
ther in the Roman or Arabick characters Adams can?- 
not tell) he concluded both from this circumstance, 
and from their workmanship, that they were not 
made by the Negroes, but obtained from the Moor- 
ish traders. 

The ceremony of marriage amongst the upper 
ranks at Tombuctoo, is for the bride -to go in the day 
time to the King's house, and to remain there until 
after sunset, when the man who is to be her husband 
goes to fetch her away. This is usually followed 
by a feast the same night, and a dance. Adams 
did not observe what ceremonies were used in the 
marriages of the lower classes. 

As it is common to have several concubines, be- 
sides a wife, the women are continually quarrelling 
and fighting. But there is a marked difference in 
the degree of respect with which they are each treat- 
ed by the husband ; the wife always having a decid- 
ed preeminence. ( 26 ) The Negroes, however, ap- 
peared to Adams to be jealous and severe with all 
their women, frequently beating them for apparently 
very little cause. 

The women appear to suffer very little from child- 
birth, and they will be seen walking about as usual 
the day after such an event. It is their practice to 
grease a child all over soon after its birth, and to ex- 
pose it for about an hour to the sun : the infants 
are at first of a reddish colour, but become black in 
three or four days. 

Illicit intercourse appeared to be but little regard- 
ed amongst the lower orders ; and chastity amongst 
the women in general seemed to be preserved only so 
far as their situations or circumstances rendered it 
necessary for their personal safety or convenience. 
In the higher ranks, if a woman prove with child, the 


man is punished with slavery, unless he will take the 
woman for his wife and maintain her. Adams knew 
an instance of a young man, who, having refused to 
marry a woman by whom he had a child, was on 
that account condemned to slavery. He afterwards 
repented ; but was not then permitted to retract his 
refusal, and was sent away to be sold. 

The practice of procuring abortion is very com- 
mon. Adams -was informed that in cases of preg- 
nancy from illicit- intercourse, where the woman 
would not submit to this alternative, it was no un- 
usual thing for the father secretly to poison her. 

The Negroes of Tombuctoo are very vehement 
in their quarrels. When they strike with their fists 
they use the under part of the hand, as if knocking 
with a hammer ; but their principal mode of offence 
is by biting. On the whole, however, they are a 
good natured people ; and always treated Adams 
with the greatest kindness. 

It does not appear that they have any publick re- 
ligion, as they have no house of worship, no priest, 
and as far as Adams could discover, never meet to- 
gether to pray. He has seen some of the Negroes 
who were circumcised ; but he concluded, that they 
had been in the possession of the Moors, or had been 
resident at Tudenny. ( 27 ) 

The only ceremony that appeared like the act of 
prayer was on the occasion of the death of any of 
the inhabitants, when their relatives assembled and 
sat round the corpse. The burial is unattended with 
any ceremony. The deceased are buried in the 
clothes in which they die, at a small distance to -the 
southwest of the town. 

Adams does not believe that any of the Negroes 
could write, as he never saw any of them attempt it; 
their accounts appeared to be kept by notching 
sticks. Almost all the Moors, on the contrary, are 
able to write. 


Their only physicians are old women, who cure 
diseases and wounds by the application of simples. 
Adams had a wen on the back of his right hand, the 
size of a large egg ; which one of the women cured 
in about a month by rubbing it and applying a plas- 
ter of herbs. ( 38 ) They cure the tooth-ache by the 
application of a liquid prepared from roots ; which 
frequently causes not only the defective tooth to fall 
out, but one or two others. 

He never saw any of the Negroes blind but such 
as were very old ; of these, judging from their ap- 
pearance, he thinks he has seen some upwards of 
one hundred years of age. Children are obliged to 
support their parents in their old age; but when old 
people are childless, there is a house for their re- 
ception, in which they live, four or five in a room, at 
the cost of the King. 

The only tools which the Negroes appeared to 
possess (besides the hoes and chisels previously 
mentioned) were knives and small hatchets, with 
which they cut their timber, and a few other rough 
instruments of iron, which they procured from the 
Moors. Adams does not remember ever to have 
seen a saw. 

Their musical instruments are, 1st, a sort of fife 
made of reeds ; 2d, a kind of tambourine covered 
with goat skin, within which are ostrich quills laid 
across in such a manner, that when the skin is struck 
with the hand, the quills jar against it; 3d, an instru- 
ment which they call bandera, made of several cocoa- 
nut shells tied together with thongs of goat skin, 
and covered with the same material ; a hole at the 
top of the instrument is covered with strings of leath- 
er or tendons, drawn tightly across it, on which the 
performer plays with the fingers in the manner of a 


Their principal and favourite amusement is danc- 
ing, which takes place about once a week in the 
town, when a hundred dancers or more assemble, 
men, women and children, but the greater number 
men. Whilst they are engaged in the dance they 
sing extremely loud to the musick of the tambourine, 
fife, and bandera ; so that the noise they make may 
be heard all over the town. They dance in a circle, 
and (when this amusement continues till the night) 
generally round a fire. Their usual time of begin- 
ning is about two hours before sunset, and the dance 
not unfrequently lasts all night. The men have 
the most of the exercise in these sports whilst day- 
light lasts, the women continuing nearly in one spot, 
and the men dancing to and from them. ( 29 ) During 
this time the dance is conducted with some decency; 
but when night approaches, and the women take a 
more active part in the amusement, their thin and 
short dresses, and the agility of their actions, are lit- 
tle calculated to admit of the preservation of any de- 

It has been already stated, that Adams can form 
no idea of the population of Tombuctoo; but he 
thinks that once he saw as many as two thousand 
persons assembled at one place. This was on the oc- 
casion of a party of five hundred men going out to 
make war in Bambarra. ( 30 ) The day after their 
departure they were followed by a great number of 
camels, dromedaries, and heiries, laden with provi- 
sions. Such of these people as afterwards returned, 
came back in parties of forty or •fifty; many of them 
did not return at all whilst Adams remained at Tom- 
buctoo ; but he never heard that any of them had 
been killed. 

About once a month a party of a hundred or more 
armed men marched out in a similar manner to pro- 
cure slaves. These armed partias were all on foot 


except the officers ; they were usually absent from 
one week to a month, and at times brought in con- 
siderable numbers. The slaves were generally a 
different race of people from those of Tombuctoo, 
and differently clothed, their dress being for the 
most part of coarse white linen or cotton. He once 
saw amongst them a woman who had her teeth filed 
round, he supposes by way of ornament ; and as 
they were very long they resembled crow-quills. 
The greatest number of slaves that he recollects to 
have seen brought in at one time, were about twenty, 
and these he was informed were from the place call- 
ed Bambarra, lying to the southward and westward 
of Tombuctoo; which he understood to be the coun- 
try whither the aforesaid parties generally went out 
in quest of them. 

The slaves thus brought in were chiefly women 
and children, who, after being detained a day or two 
at the King's house, were sent away to other parts 
for sale. ( 31 ) The returns for them consisted of 
blue nankeens, blankets, barley, tobacco, and some- 
times gunpowder. This latter article appeared to 
be more valuable than gold, of which double 
the weight was given in barter for gunpowder. 
Their manner of preserving it was in skins. It was, 
however, never used at Tombuctoo, except as an 
article of trade. 

Although the King was despotick, and could com- 
pel his subjects to take up arms when he required 
it, yet it did not appear that they were slaves whom 
he might sell, or employ as such generally ; the 
only actual slaves being such as were brought from 
other countries, or condemned criminals. Of the 
latter class only twelve persons were condemned to 
slavery during the six months of Adams's residence 
at Tombuctoo. The offences of which they had 
been guilty were poisoning, theft, and refusing to join 


a party sent out to procure slaves from foreign coun- 

Adams never saw any individual put to death at 
Tombuctoo, ( 32 ) the punishment for heavy offences 
being, as has just been stated, slavery ; for slighter 
misdemeanours the offenders are punished with 
beating with a stick; but in no case is this punish- 
ment very severe, seldom exceeding two dozen 
blows, with a stick of the thickness of a small walk- 
ing cane. 

Adams did not observe any shops at Tombuc- 
too. ( 33 ) The goods brought for sale, which consisted 
chiefly of tobacco, 4ar, gunpowder, blue nankeens, 
blankets, earthen jars, and some silks, are obtained 
from the Moors, and remain in the King's house, un- 
til they are disposed of. The only other objects of 
trade appeared to be slaves. 

The principal articles given in exchange in trade 
by the people of Tombuctoo, are gold dust, ivory, 
gum, cowries, ostrich feathers, and goat skins ; 
which latter they stain red and yellow. Adams has 
seen a full-grown slave bought for forty or fifty 
cowries. ( 34 ) He never saw the Negroes find any 
gold, but he understood that it was procured out of 
the mountains, and on the banks of the rivers, to the 
southward of Tombuctoo. 

The Negroes consume the tobacco both in snuff 
and for smoking ; for the latter purpose they use 
pipes, the tubes of which are made of the leg bones 
of ostriches. 

The chief use to which they apply the tar brought 
by the Moors, is to protect the camels and other 
animals from the attacks of large green flies, which 
are very numerous, and greatly distress them. 
Adams has sometimes seen tar water mixed with the 
food of the natives as medicine, which made it so 
nauseous to his taste that he could not eat it. The 


Negroes, however, did not appear to have the same 
dislike to it; from which he infers, that the use of 
tar-water in their food, was frequent, though he only 
saw it four or five times. None of the persons whom 
he saw using it were in bad health at the time. 

During the whole of Adams's residence at Tom- 
buctoo, he never saw any other Moors than those 
whom he accompanied thither, and the ten by whom 
they were ransomed ; and he understood from the 
Moors themselves, that they were not allowed to go 
in large bodies to Tombuctoo. ( 35 ) He did not see 
any mosque or large place of worship there ; and he 
does not think that they had any. 

Neither Adams nor the Portuguese boy were ever 
subjected to any restraint whilst they remained at 
Tombuctoo. They were allowed as much food, and 
as often as they pleased ; and were never required 
to work. In short, they never experienced any act 
of incivility or unkindness from any of the Negroes, 
except when they were taken prisoners in company 
with the Moors engaged in stealing them. ( S6 ) 
Adams could not hear that any white man but them- 
selves had ever been seen in the place ; and he 
believes, as well from what he was told by the 
Moors, as from the uncommon curiosity which he 
excited (though himself a very dark man, with short 
curly black hair,) that they never had seen one be- 
fore. ( 37 ) 

There was no fall of rain during his residence at 
Tombuctoo, except a few drops just before his de- 
parture; and he understood from the Negroes, that 
they had usually little or none, except during the 
three months of winter, which is the only season 
when the desert can be crossed, on account of the 
heat. ( 38 ) In some years, Adams was informed, 
when the season had been unusually dry, there was 
great distress at Tombuctoo for want of provisions : 
but no such want was felt whilst he was there* 


He never proceeded to the southward of Tom- 
buctoo, further than about two miles from the town, 
to the mountains before spoken of; and he never saw 
the river Joliba: but he had heard it mentioned; 
and was told at Tudenny, that it lay between that 
place and Bambarra. ( 39 ) 

Being asked the names of any other places which 
he had heard mentioned, he recollected that the 
people of Tombuctoo spoke of Mutnougo^ and of a 
very considerable place to the eastward called Tua- 
rick, to which they traded. He had also often heard 
them mention Mandingo, and Bondou ; but he 
cannot recollect what was said respecting these 

The following is a list of some of the words 
which Adams recollects in the language of Tom- 
buctoo. ( 40 ) 

Man, - Jungo. 

Woman, ------ Jumpsa. 

Camel, ----- - So. 

Dog, ------- Killab. 

Cow, - - - * - - - FaUee. 

Goat, - - - - - - - Luganam. 

Sheep, ------ JYaidsh. 

Elephant, Elfeel 

House, ------- Dah. 

Water, ------- Boca. 

Mountain, - Kaddear. 

Tree, ------- Carna. 

Date Tree, ------ Carna Tomar. 

Fig Tree, ------ Carna Carmoos. 

Gold, ------- Or. 

A Moor, ------ Seckar. 

* Adams mentioned Jinnie to me, amongst the towns wbich he had 
heard named by the Negroes of Tombuctoo. D. 


[ 58] 


Hansom of the imprisoned Moors and of Adams. ...Departure from 
Tombuctoo... Journey eastward along the River ; then northward 
to Tudenny.... Traders in salt. ...Tudenny... .Mixed Population of 
Moors and Negroes.... Beds of Rock Salt. ...Preparations and De- 
parture to cross the Sandy Desert.. ..Sufferings in the Desert.... 
Arrival at Woled Dleim.... Employment, and long detention there.... 
Refusal of Adams to attend to his tasks.... He is punished for it ; 
but perseveres. ...Seizes an opportunity of escaping. ...Is pursued ; but 
reaches El Kabla ...He is purchased by the Chief.. ..Employed to 
tend the flocks of his Master's Wives.... Negotiates with Aisha, the 
younger wife, on the subject of Wages. ...Their bargain, and its 
consequences. ...Adams flies and conceals himself.. ..Is purchased by a 
Trader; and conveyed to Woled Aboussebah ...Woled Adrialla.... 
Aiata Mouessa Ali...He attempts to escape. ...Is retaken ; and con- 
veyed to Wed-Noon. 

The ten Moors who had arrived with the five ca- 
mels laden with tobacco, had been three weeks at 
Tombuctoo before Adams learnt that the ransom of 
himself, the boy, and the Moors his former com- 
panions, had been agreed upon. At the end of the- 
first week he was given to understand, that himself 
and the boy would be released, but that the Moors 
would be condemned to die; it appeared, however, 
afterwards, that in consideration of all the tobacco 
being given for the Moors, except about fifty pounds 
weight, which was expended for a man slave, the 
King had agreed to release all the prisoners. 

Two days after their release, the whole party, 
consisting of the 

10 Moorish traders 

14 Moorish prisoners 


2 white men, and 
1 slave, 

quitted Tombuctoo, having only the five camels 
which belonged to the traders ; those which were 
seized when Adams and his party were made priso- 
ners not having been restored. As they had no 
means left of purchasing any other article, the only 
food they took with them was a little Guinea corn 

On quitting the town they proceeded in an east- 
early course, inclining to the north, going along the 
border of the river, of which they sometimes lost 
sight for two days together. They did not meet 
with any high trees; but on the banks of the river, 
which were covered with high grass, were a few 
low trees, and some shrubs of no great variety. Oc- 
casionally they came to a Negro hut. Except the 
two mountains before spoken of, to the southward, 
between which the river runs, there are none in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Tombuctoo ; but at a 
little distance there are some small ones. 

They had travelled eastward about ten days, at 
the rate of about fifteen to eighteen miles a day, 
when they saw the river for the last time ; it then 
appeared rather narrower than at Tombuctoo. They 
then loaded the camels with water, and striking off 
in a northerly direction, travelled twelve or thirteen 
days, at about the same pace. In the course of this 
journey they saw a great number of antelopes, rab- 
bits, foxes, and wolves, and a bird somewhat larger 
than a fowl, which the Moors called Jize ; # it ap- 
peared to Adams to be the same kind of bird known 
in America by the name of cuckoo. 

The soil was generally covered with shrubs, and 
a low kind of grass like moss. Trees were seldom 

* Djes, is the Arabick name for the common domestick fowl. D. 


seen, and those not large. From the time of quit* 
ting the river, the only persons whom they saw were 
Negro travellers carrying salt to Tombuctoo, of 
whom they met parties of about ten or twelve almost 
every day with dromedaries, camels, and asses. 

At the end of the thirteen days they arrived at a 
place called Tudenny* a large village inhabited by 
Moors and Negroes, in which there are four wells of 
very excellent water. At this place there are large 
ponds or beds of salt, which both the Moors and 
Negroes come in great numbers to purchase, and 
date and fig trees of a large size: in the neighbour- 
hood the ground is cultivated in the same manner as 
at Tombuctoo. From the number of Moors, many 
if not all of whom were residents, it appeared that 
the restriction respecting them, existing at Tombuc- 
too, did not extend to Tudenny. ( 41 ) 

The salt beds which Adams saw were about five 
or six feet deep, and from twenty to thirty yards in 
circumference. The salt comes up in hard lumps 
mixed with earth, and part of it is red. 

The Moors here are perfectly black; the only 
personal distinction between them and the Negroes 
being, that the Moors had long black hair, and had 
po scars on their faces. The Negroes are in gene- 
ral marked in the same manner as those of Tombuc- 
too. Here the party staid fourteen days, to give the 
ransomed Moors, whose long confinement had made 
them weak, time to recruit their strength ; and hav- 
ing sold one of the camels for two sacks of dates and 
a small ass, and loaded the four remaining camels 
with water, the dates, and the flour, (in the propor- 
tion of eight goat skins of water, or six skins of 
water and two bags of dates or flour, to each 

* Taudeny. D> 


camel) they set out to cross the Desert,* taking a 
northwest direction. 

They commenced their journey from Tudenny 
about four o'clock in the morning, and having travel- 
led the first day about twenty miles, they unloaded 
the camels, and lay down by the side of them to 

The next day they entered the Desert ; over which 
they continued to travel in the same direction, nine 
and twenty days, without meeting a single human 
being. The whole way was a sandy plain, like a 
sea, without either tree, shrub or grass. After tra- 
velling in this manner about fourteen days at the rate 
of sixteen or eighteen miles a day, the people began 
to grow very weak; their stock of water began to 
run short ; and their provisions were nearly exhaust- 
ed. The ass died of fatigue ; and its carcass was 
immediately cut up and laden on the camel, where it 
dried in the sun, and served for food ; and had it not 
been for this supply, some of the party must have 
died of hunger. Being asked if asses' flesh was 
good eating, Adams replied ; " It was as good to my 
taste then, as a goose would be now." 

In six days afterwards, during which their pace 
was slackened to not more than twelve miles a day, 
they arrived at a place where it was expected water 
would be found ; but to their great disappointment, 
owing to the dryness of the season, the hollow place, 
of about thirty yards in circumference, was found 
quite dry. 

All their stock of water at this time consisted of 
four goat skins, and those not full, holding from one 
to two gallons each ; and it was known to the Moors 
that they had then ten days further to travel before 
they could obtain a supply. 

* See Note, p. 36. 



In this distressing dilemma, it was resolved to mix 
the remaining water with camels' urine. The allow- 
ance of this mixture to each camel was only about a 
quart for the whole ten days : each man was allow- 
ed not more than about half a pint a day. 

The Moors who had been in confinement at Tom- 
buctoo becoming every day weaker, three of them in 
the four following days lay down, unable to proceed. 
They were then placed upon the camels : but con- 
tinual exposure to the excessive heat of the sun, and 
the uneasy motion of the camels, soon rendered them 
unable to support themselves, and towards the end 
of the second day they made another attempt to 
pursue their journey on foot, but could not. The 
next morning at day break they were found dead on 
the sand, in the place where they had lain down at 
night, and were left behind without being buried. 
The next day another of them lay down ; and, like 
his late unfortunate companions, was left to perish : 
but on the following day one of the Moors determin- 
ed to remain behind, in the hope that he who had 
dropped the day before might still come up, and be 
able to follow the party : some provisions were left 
with him. At this time it was expected, what prov- 
ed to be the fact, that they were within a day's march 
of their town : but neither of the men ever after- 
wards made his appearance ; and Adams has no 
doubt that they perished. 

Vied Duleim* (the place at which they now ar- 
rived) was a village of tents inhabited entirely by 
Moors, who, from their dress, manners, and general 
appearance, seemed to be of the same tribe as those 
of the encampment to which Adams was conveyed 
from El Gazie.(42) They had numerous flocks of 
sheep and goats, and two watering places, near one of 

* Woled DHeim. D. 


which their tents were pitched; but the other lay 
nearly fixe miles off. 

The first fortnight after the arrival of the party, 
was devoted to their recovery from the fatigues of 
the journey ; but as soon as their strength was re-es- 
tablished, Adams and his companion were employed 
in taking care of goats and sheep. Having now be- 
gun to acquire a knowledge of the Moorish tongue, 
they frequently urged their masters to take them to 
Suerra ; which the latter promised they would do, 
provided they continued attentive to their duty. 

Things, however, remained in this state for ten or 
eleven months, during which time they were continu- 
ally occupied in tending the flocks of the Moors. 
They suffered severely from exposure to the scorch- 
ing sun, in a state of almost utter nakedness ; and the 
miseries of their situation were aggravated by de- 
spair of ever being released from slavery. 

The only food allowed to them was barley flour, 
and camels' and goats' milk ; but of the latter they 
had abundance. Sometimes they were treated with 
a few dates, which were a great rarity ; there being 
neither date trees nor trees of any other kind in the 
whole country round. But as the flock of goats and 
sheep consisted of a great number (from one hun- 
dred and fifty to two hundred,) and as they were at a 
distance from the town, Adams and his companion 
sometimes ventured to kill a kid for their own eating; 
and to prevent discovery of the fire used in cooking 
it, they dug a cave, in which the fire was made, cov- 
ering the ashes with grass and sand. 

At length Adams, after much reflection on the mise- 
rable state in which he had been so long kept, and 
was likely to pass the remainder of his life, deter- 
mined to remonstrate upon the subject. His master, 
whose name was Harriet Laubed, frankly replied to 
him, that as he had not been, successful in procuring 


slaves, it was now his intention to keep him, and not* 
as he had before led him to expect, to take him to 
Suerra or Mogadore. Upon hearing this, Adams 
resolved not to attend any longer to the duty of 
watching the goats and sheep ; and in consequence, 
the next day, several of the young goats were found 
to have been killed by the foxes. 

This led to an inquiry, whether Adams or the boy 
was in fault; when it appearing that the missing 
goats were a part of Adams's dock, his master pro- 
ceeded to beat him with a thick stick ; which he re- 
sisted, and took away the stick ; upon which a dozen 
Moors, principally women, attacked him, and gave 
him a severe beating. 

As, notwithstanding what had occurred, Adams 
persisted in his determination not to resume his task 
of tendings the goats and sheep, his master was ad- 
vised to put him to death ,-(43) but this he was not in- 
clined to do, observing to his advisers, that he should 
thereby sustain a loss, and that if Adams would not 
work, it would be better to sell him. In the mean 
time he remained idle in the tent for about three 
days ; when he was asked by his master's wife, if he 
would go to the distant well to fetch a couple of 
skins of water, that being of a better quality ; to 
which he signified his consent, and went off the next 
morning on a camel with two skins to fetch the 

On his arrival at the other well, instead of procur- 
ing water, he determined to make his escape ; and 
understanding the course to a place called Wadi- 
noon, lay in a direction to the northward of west,* 

* This account of the relative bearings of Woled D'leim and Wed 
Noon is rather at variance with the details of Adams's recollected 
course between those two places ; but it accords very nearly with 
what is assumed in the map, on other grounds, to have been his real 


he passed the well, and pushing on in a northerly 
course, travelled the whole of that day ; when the 
camel, which had been used to rest at night, and had 
not been well broke in, would not proceed any fur- 
ther; and in spite of all the efforts Adams could 
make, it lay down with fatigue, having gone upwards 
of twenty miles without stopping. Finding there 
was no remedy, Adams took off the rope with which 
his clothes were fastened round his body, and as 
the camel lay with his fore-knee bent, he tied the 
rope round it in a way to prevent its rising, and then 
lay down by the side of it. This, rope, which Adams 
had brought from Tombuctoo,* was made of grass, 
collected on the banks of the river. The saddles of 
camels are made of the same material, interwoven 
between a frame of sticks placed together in the 
form of a St. Andrew's cross, so as to fit the back of 
the animal. 

The next morning at day light he mounted again, 
and pushed on till about nine o'clock, when he perceiv- 
ed a smoke a-head, which he approached. There was 
a small hillock between him and this place, ascending 
which, he discovered about forty or fifty tents pitched, 
and on looking back he saw two camels coming to- 
wards him, with a rider on each. Not knowing wheth- 
er these were pursuers, or strangers going to the 
place in view, but being greatly alarmed, he made 
the best of his way forwards. On drawing near to 
the town, a number of women came out, and he ob- 
served about a hundred Moors standing in a row in 
the act of prayer, having their faces towards the east, 
and at times kneeling down, and leaning their heads 
to the ground. On the women discovering Adams, 
they expressed great surprise at seeing a white man. 
He inquired of them the name of the place, and they 
told him it was Hilla Gibla. Soon afterwards the 
two camels, before spoken of, arriving, the rider of 



one of them proved to be the owner of the camel on 
which Adams had escaped, and the other his master. 
At this time Adams was sitting under a tent speak- 
ing to the Governour, whose name was Mahomet, 
telling him his story ; they were soon joined by his 
two pursuers, accompanied by a crowd of people. 

Upon his master claiming him, Adams protested 
that he would not go back ; that his master had fre- 
quently promised, to take him to Suerra, but had 
broken his promises; ahd that he had made up his 
mind either to obtain his liberty or die. Upon hear- 
ing both sides, the Governour determined in favour 
of Adams ; and gave* his master to understand, that 
if he was willing to exchange him for a bushel of 
dates and a camel, he should have them; but if not, 
he should have nothing. As Adams's master did not 
approve of these conditions, a violent altercation 
arose; but at length finding the Governour deter^ 
mined, and that better terms were not to be had, he 
accepted the first offer, and Adams became the slave 
of Ma hornet. (44) 

The natives of Hilla Gibla* appeared to be better 
clothed, and a less savage race, than those of Vied 
Duleim, between whom there appeared to be great 
enmity ; the Governour therefore readily interfered 
in favour of Adams, and at one time threatened to 
take away the camel and to put Mahomet Laubed 
himself to death. Another consideration by which 
the Governour was probably influenced, was, a 
knowledge of the value of a Christian slave, as an 
object of ransom, of which Mahomet Laubed seem- 
ed to be wholly ignorant. 

On entering the service of his new master, Adams 
was sent to tend camels, and had been so employed 
about a fortnight, when this duty was exchanged for 
that of taking care of goats. Mahomet had two 

* El Kdbla. jD, 


wives who dwelt in separate tents, one of them an old 
woman, the other young : the goats which Adams 
was set to take care of, were the property of the 
elder one. 

Some days after he had been so employed, the 
younger wife, whose name was Isha^\ proposed to 
him, that he should also take charge of her goats, for 
which she would pay him ; and as there was no 
more trouble in tending two flocks than one, he 
readily consented. Having had charge of the two 
flocks for several days, without receiving the promis- 
ed additional reward, he at length remonstrated ; 
and after some negotiation on the subject of his claim, 
the matter was compromised, by the young woman's 
desiring him, when he returned from tending the 
goats at night, to go to rest in her tent. It was the 
custom of Mahomet to sleep two nights with the elder 
woman, and one with the other, and this was one of 
the nights devoted to the former. Adams according- 
ly kept the appointment ; and about nine o'clock 
Isha came and gave him supper, and he remained in 
her tent all night. This was an arrangement which 
was afterwards continued on those nights which she 
did not pass with her husband. 

Things continued in this state about six months, 
and as his work was light, and he experienced noth- 
ing but kind treatment, his time passed pleasantly 
enough. One night his master's son coming into the 
tent, discovered Adams with his mother-in-law, and 
informed his father, when a great disturbance took 
place: but upon the husband charging his wife with 
her misconduct, she protested that Adams had laid 
down in her tent without her knowledge or consent; 
and as she cried bitterly, the old man appeared to be 
convinced that she was not to blame. 

* Aisha. D. 


The old lady, however, declared her belief that 
the young one was guilty, and expressed her convic- 
tion that she should be able to detect her at some 
future time. 

For some days after, Adams kept away from the 
lady ; but at the end of that time, the former affair 
appearing to be forgotten, he resumed his visits. 
One night the old woman lifted up the corner of the 
tent and discovered Adams with Isha ; and having 
reported it to her husband, he came with a thick 
stick, threatening to put him to death : Adams be- 
ing alarmed, made his escape; and the affair having 
made a great deal of noise, an acquaintance proposed 
to Adams to conceal him in his tent, and to endea- 
vour to buy him of the Governour. Some laughed at 
the adventure ; others, and they by far the greater 
part, treated the matter as an offence of the most 
atrocious nature, Adams being "a Christian, who 
never prayed."(45) 

As his acquaintance promised, in the event of be- 
coming his purchaser, to take him to Wadinoon, 
Adams adopted his advice and concealed himself in 
his tent. For several days the old Governour re- 
jected every overture; but at last he agreed to part 
with Adams for fifty dollars' worth of goods, con- 
sisting of blankets and dates ; and thus he became 
the property of Boerick, a trader, whose usual resi- 
dence was at Hilla 

The girl (Isha) ran away to her mother. 

The next day, Boerick set out with a party of six 
men and four camels for a place called Villa de 
Bousbach,*(4s) which they reached after travelling 
nine days at the rate of about eighteen miles a day; 
their course was northeast. On the rout they saw 
neither houses nor trees, but the ground was cover- 

* Woled Aboussebeih. D. 


ed with grass and shrubs. At this place they found 
about forty or fifty tents inhabited by Moors, and re- 
mained five or six days ; when there arrived a Moor 
from a place called Hieta Mouessa Ali, named Abdal- 
lah Houssa, a friend of Boerick, who informed him 
that it was usual for the British Consul at Mogadore 
to send to Wadinoon (where this man resided,) to 
purchase the Christians who were prisoners in that 
country ; and, that as he was about to proceed 
thither, he was willing to take charge of Acams, to 
sell him for account of Boerick ; at the same time he 
informed Adams that there were other Christians at 
Wadinoon. This being agreed to by Boerick, his 
fjiend set out in a few days after, for Hieta Mouessa 
Ali, taking Adams with him. Instead, however, of 
going to that place, which lay due north,* they pro- 
ceeded north-northwest, and as they had a camel 
each, and travelled very fast, the path being good, 
they went at the rate of twenty-five miles a day, and 
in six days reached a place called Villa Adrialla^ 
where there were about twenty tents. This place 
appeared to be inhabited entirely by traders, who 
had at least five hundred camels, a great number of 
goats and sheep, and a few horses. The cattle were 
tended by Negro slaves. Here they remained about 
three weeks, until Abdallah had finished his busi- 
ness; and then set out for Hieta Mouessa Ali, where 
they arrived in three days. Adams believes that the 
reason of their travelling so fast during the last stage 
was, that Abdallah was afraid of being robbed, of 
which he seemed to have no apprehension after he 
had arrived at Villa Adrialla, and therefore they tra- 

* This bearing is not reconcileable with Adams's 1 " subsequent 

f This should probably be Wokd Adrialla ; but I have no know- 
ledge of the place. D. 


veiled from that place to Hieta Mouessa AH at the 
rate of only about sixteen or eighteen miles a day ; 
their course being due northwest. 

Hieta Mouessa Ali* was the largest place Adams 
had seen in which there were no houses, there being 
not less than a hundred tents. Here was a small 
brook issuing from a mountain, being the only one 
he had seen except that at Soudenny ; but the vege- 
tation was not more abundant than at other places. 
They remained here about a month; during which 
Adams was as usual employed in tending camels. 
As the time hung very heavy on his hands, and 
he saw no preparation for their departure for 
Wadinoon, and his anxiety to reach that place 
had been very much excited by the intelligence 
that there were other Christians there, he took 
every opportunity of making inquiry respecting 
the course and distance ; and being at length of 
opinion that he might find his way thither, he 
one evening determined to desert ; and accord- 
ingly he set out on foot alone, with a small sup- 
ply of dried goats' flesh, relying upon getting a 
further supply at the villages, which he under- 
stood were on the road. He had travelled the 
whole of that night, and until about noon the 
next day without stopping; when he was overtak- 
en by a party of three or four men on camels, 
who had been sent in pursuit of him, It seems 
they expected that Adams had been persuaded 
to leave Hieta Mouessa Ali, by some persons 
who wished to take him to Wadinoon for sale ; 
and they were therefore greatly pleased to find 
him on foot, and alone. Instead of ill treating him, 
as he apprehended they would do, they merely 
conducted him back to Hieta Mouessa Ali ; from 

* Aiata Mouessa AIL D. 


whence, in three or four days afterwards, Ab- 
dallah and a small party departed, taking him 
with them. They travelled five days in a north- 
west direction at about sixteen miles a day, and 
at the end of the fifth day, reached Wadinoon ; 
having seen no habitations on their route, except 
a few scattered tents within a day's journey of the 


[ 72 j 


Description of Wed-Noon ; where Adams finds three of the crew of 
the "Charles". ...He is purchased by Bel-Cossim-Abdallah... .French 
Renegade.... Wreck of the Montezuma.... Gunpowder Manufacture 
....Curious Relation of a Negro Slave from Kanno... .Severe labours 
and cruel treatment of the Christian Slaves at Wed-Noon.. ..Adams 
is required to plough on the Sabbath day ; refuses ; is cruelly beat- 
en, and put in irons. ...His firmness.. ..Inhuman treatment and death 
of Dolbie....Williams and Davison, worn out by their sufferings, re- 
nounce their Religion.. ..Adams perseveres. ...Letter from the Bri- 
tish Vice-Consul at Mogadore, addressed to the Christian Slaves.... 

Ransom of Adams. ...Departure from Wed-Noon Akkadia.-.Bled 

Cidi Heshein.... Market of Cidi Haraet at Moussa....Agadeer, or feanta 
Cruz. ...Mogadore.. ..Adams is sent to the Moorish Emperour... Fez.... 
Mequinez... .Tangier.. ..Cadiz.. .Gibraltar.. ..London. 

Wadinoon* was the first place at which Adams had 
seen houses after he quitted Tudenny. It is a small 
town, consisting of about forty houses, and some 
tents. The former are built chiefly of clay, inter- 
mixed with stone in some parts; and several of them 
have a story above the ground floor. The soil in 
the neighbourhood of the town was better cultivat- 
ed than any he had yet seen in Africa, and appear- 
ed to produce plenty of corn and tobacco. There 
were also date and fig trees in the vicinity, as well 
as a few grapes, apples, pears, and pomegranates. 
Prickly pears flourished in great abundance. 

The Christians whom Adams had heard of, whilst 
residing at Bieta Mouessa Ali, and whom he found 
at Wadinoon, proved to be, to his great satisfaction, 

* Wed-Noon. D, 


his old companions Stephen Dolbie, the mate, and 
James Davison and Thomas Williams, two of the 
seamen of the Charles. They informed him that 
they had been in that town upwards of twelve 
months, and that they were the property of the sons 
of the Governour. ( 4Y ) 

Soon after Adams's arrival at Wadinoon, Abdal- 
lah offered him for sale to the Governour, or Shieck, 
called Amedallah Salem, who consented to take him 
upon trial ; but after remaining about a week at the 
Governour's house, Adams was returned to his old 
master, as the parties could not agree about the price. 
He was at length, however, sold to Belcassam Ab- 
dallah,* for seventy dollars in trade, payable in blan- 
kets, gunpowder and dates. ( 48 ) 

The only other white resident at Wadinoon was 
a Frenchman, who informed Adams that he had 
been wrecked about twelve years before, on the 
neighbouring coast, and that the whole of the crew, 
except himself, had been redeemed. He further 
stated, that a vessel called (as Adams understood 
him) the Agezuma'f from Liverpool, commanded by 
Captain Harrison, had been wrecked about four 
years before, and that the Captain and nearly the 
whole of the crew had been murdered. ( 49 ) This 
man had turned Mohammedan, and was named Ab- 
salom ; he had a wife and child and three slaves, and 
gained a good living by the manufacture of gunpow- 
der. Adams has often seen him employed in making 
it, by pounding brimstone in a wooden mortar, and 
grinding charcoal by hand between two stones, in 
the manner of grinding grain. The final process 
of mixing he performed in a room by himself, not 
being willing to let any person see how it was done. 
He lived in the same house as the person who had 

* Bel-Cossim-AbdaJIah. D, + Montezuma. 



been his master, who, upon his renouncing his reli- 
gion, gave him his liberty. ( 50 ) 

Among the Negro slaves at Waclinoon was a 
woman who said she came from a place called Kan- 
no, a long way across the Desert, and that she had 
seen in her own country, white men, as white as 
" bather," meaning the wall, and in a large boat 
with two high sticks in it, with cloth upon them, and 
that they rowed this boat in a manner different from 
the custom of the Negroes, who use paddles : in 
stating this, she made the motion of rowing with 
oars, so as to leave no doubt that she had seen a 
vessel in the European fashion, manned by white 
people. ( 51 ) 

The work in which Adams was employed at Wa- 
dinoon, was building walls, cutting down shrubs to 
make fences, and working in the corn lands or in 
the plantations of tobacco, of which great quanti- 
ties are grown in the neighbourhood. It was in the 
month of August that he arrived there, as he was 
told by the Frenchman before spoken of; the grain 
had been gathered ; but the tobacco was then get- 
ting in, at which he was required to assist. His la- 
bour at this place was extremely severe. On the 
Moorish sabbath, which was also their market-day, 
the Christian slaves were not required to labour, un- 
less on extraordinary occasions, when there was any 
f>articular work to do which could not be delayed. 
n these intervals of repose, they had opportunities 
of meeting and conversing together; and Adams 
had the melancholy consolation of finding, that the 
lot of his companions had been even more severe 
than his own. It appeared that on their arrival, the 
Frenchman before mentioned, from some unexplain- 
ed motive, had advised them to refuse to work ; and 
the consequence was, that they had been cruelly 
beaten and punished, and had been made to work 



and live hard, their only scanty food being bar- 
ley flour, and Indian corn flour. However, on ex- 
traordinary occasions, and as a great indulgence, 
they sometimes obtained a few dates. 

In this wretched manner Adams and his fellow 
captives lived until the June following; when a cir- 
cumstance occurred which had nearly cost the former 
his life. His master's son, Hameda Bel Cossim, having, 
one Sabbath day, ordered Adams to take the horse 
and go to plough, the latter refused to obey him, 
urging that it was not the custom of any slaves to 
work on the sabbath day, and that he was intitled 
to the same indulgence as the rest. Upon which 
Hameda went into the house and fetched a cutlass, 
and then demanded of Adams, whether he would go 
to plough or not. Upon his reply that he would 
not, Hameda, struck him on the forehead with the 
cutlass, and gave him a severe wound over the right 
eye, and immediately Adams knocked him down 
w r ith his fist. This was no sooner done than Adams 
w r as set upon by a number of Moors, who beat him 
with sticks in so violent a manner that the blood came 
out of his mouth, two of his double teeth were 
knocked out, and he was almost killed ; and he 
thinks they would have entirely killed him had it 
not been for the interference of Boadick, the Shieck's 
son, who reproached them for their cruelty, 
declaring that they had no right to compel Adams 
to work on a market-day. The next morning Ha- 
meda's mother, named Moghtari^ came to him, and 
asked how he dared to lift his hand against a Moor? 
to which Adams, being driven to desperation by the 
ill treatment he had received, replied, that he would 
even take his life if it were in his power. Moghta- 
ri then said, that unless he would kiss Hameda's 
hands and feet, he should be put in irons; which he 
peremptorily refused to do. Soon after Hameda's 


father came to Adams and told him, unless he 
did kiss his son's feet and hands, he must be put in 
irons. Adams then stated to him, that he could not 
submit to do so ; that it was " contrary to his re- 
ligion"* to kiss the hands and feet of any person ; 
that in his own country he had never been required 
to do it; and that whatever might be the consequence, 
he would not do it. Finding he would not submit, 
the old man ordered that he should be put in 
irons, and accordingly they fastened his feet togeth- 
er with iron chains, and did the same by his hands. 
After he had remained in this state about ten days, 
Moghtari came to him again, urging him to do as 
required, and declaring that if he did not, he should 
never see the Christian country again : Adams, how- 
ever, persevered in turning a deaf ear to her entrea- 
ties and threats. Some time afterwards, finding that 
close confinement was destructive of his health, 
Hameda came to him, and took the irons from his 
hands. The following three weeks he remained 
with the irons on his legs, during which time, re- 
peated and pressing entreaties, and the most dread- 
ful threats, were used to induce him to submit; but 
all to no purpose. He was also frequently advised 
by the Mate and the other Christians (who used to 
be sent to him for the purpose of persuading him,) 
to submit, as he must otherwise inevitably loose his 
life. At length, finding that neither threats nor en- 
treaties would avail, and Adams having remained 
in irons from June till the beginning of August, and 
his sufferings having reduced him almost to a skele- 
ton, his master was advised to sell him, as if longer 
confined, he would certainly die, and thus prove a 
total loss. Influenced by this consideration, his 
master at last determined to release him from his con- 

* Adams's expression. 


finement; but though very weak, the moment he 
was liberated he was set to gathering in the corn. ( 52 ) 

About a week afterwards, Dolbic, the mate, fell 
sick. Adams had called to see him, when Dolbie's 
master (named Brahim, a son of the Shieck) order- 
ed him to get up and go to work; and upon Dolbie 
declaring that he was unable, Brahim beat him with 
a stick to compel him to go; but as he still did not 
obey, Brahim threatened that he would kill him ; and 
upon Dolbie's replying that he had better do so at 
once than kill him by inches, Brahim stabbed him in 
the side with a dagger, and he died in a few minutes. 
As soon as he was dead, he was taken by some slaves 
a short distance from the town, where a hole was 
dug, into which he was thrown without ceremony. As 
the grave was not deep, and as it frequently happen- 
ed that corpses after burial were dug out of the 
ground by the foxes, Adams and his two surviving 
companions went the next day and covered the grave 
with stones. ( 53 ) 

As the Moors were constantly urging them to be- 
come Mohammedans, and they were unceasingly 
treated with the greatest brutality, the fortitude of 
Williams and Davison being exhausted, they at last 
unhappily consented to renounce their religion, and 
were circumcised ; and thus obtained their liberty ; 
after which they were presented with a horse, a 
musket, and a blanket each, and permitted to mar- 
ry ; no Christian being allowed at any of the places 
inhabited by Moors, to take a wife, or to cohabit 
with a Moorish woman. 

As Adams was the only remaining Christian at 
Wadinoon, he became in a more especial manner an 
object of the derision and persecution of the Moors, 
who were constantly upbraiding and reviling him, 
and telling him that his soul would be lost unless he 
became a Mohammedan, insomuch, that his life was 


becoming intolerable ; ( 54 ) when, only three days 
after Williams and Davison had renounced their re- 
ligion, a letter was received from Mr. Joseph Du- 
puis, British Consul at Mogadore, addressed to the 
Christian prisoners at Wadinoon, under cover to the 
Governour; in which the Consul, after exhorting 
them most earnestly not to give up their religion, 
whatever might befall them, assured them that 
within a month, he should be able to procure their 
liberty. Davison heard the letter read apparently 
without emotion, but WiUiams became so agitated, 
that he let it drop out of his hands, and burst into 
a flood of tears. ( 55 ) 

From this time Adams experienced no particular 
ill treatment ; but he was required to work as 
usual. About a month more elapsed, when a man 
who brought the letter, who was a servant of the 
British Consul, disguised as a trader, made known 
to Adams that he had succeeded in procuring his re- 
lease; and the next day they set out together for 

On quitting Wadinoon, (where Adams is confi- 
dent he stayed more than twelve months ; the se- 
cond year's crop of tobacco having been completely 
got in before his departure) they proceeded in a 
northerly direction, travelling on mules at the rate 
of thirty miles a day, and in fifteen days* arrived at 
Mogadore. The first night they stopped at a vil- 
lage called Akkadia, situated at the foot of a high 
mountain. Here, for the first time, Adams saw olive 
trees, and palm trees from the nuts of which oil is 
extracted. The place consisted of about twenty 
houses ; some of them two stories high. Having 
slept there, they set out the next morning at four 

* The detail of Adams's course from Wed-Noon to Mogadore, makes 
only thirteen days. 


o'clock, and the following day about sunset reached 
another village, the name of which he does not re- 
member. Here were only a few houses, but a great 
many tents, and in the neighbourhood large fields of 
wheat, Indian corn, and barley. Adams thinks this 
place was all the property of one man. 

The place at which they next stopped, having 
travelled that day in a northeast direction, was the 
residence of a great warrior named Cidi Heshem, 
who had with him upwards of six hundred black 
men and Moors, most of them armed with muskets, 
which they kept in excellent order. Adams was in- 
formed that he admitted into his service any runa- 
way Negroes or Moors; to whom he gave liberty 
on condition of their entering into his service. He 
appeared to be very rich : having numerous camels, 
goats, sheep, and horned cattle, and abundance of 
piece goods of various kinds, as also shoes and other 
manufactures which were exposed for sale in shops 
kept by Jews. The place was called after its owner, 
Bled de Cidi Heshem, in the district of Suz, and to 
the best of Adams's recollection, contained from 
twenty to thirty houses. Here he saw a great 
quantity of silver money, principally dollars. Cidi 
Heshem was at war with the Emperour of Mo- 
rocco. ( 56 ) 

After staying one night and part of the next day, 
Adams and his companion proceeded on their jour- 
ney ; and the following night slept at a place where 
there were only two huts. The next day they ar- 
rived at a place of a similar description, and then set 
out, expecting to arrive at a large town, situate on a 
high hill by the sea side named in English Santa 
Cruz, (where he was told, formerly a British Con- 
sul resided,) but called by the Moors Agadeer. They 
did not, however, get so far ; but reached a place 


called Cidi Mahomeda Moussa,* situate in a wide 
sandy plain, where the harvest being just got in, the 
inhabitants were holding a market, at which there 
appeared to be assembled not less than four thou- 
sand persons from all quarters, who had goods of all 
descriptions for sale. This market, he was told, is 
held once a year, and lasts for five days. Here 
Adams's companion was met by several persons of 
his acquaintance, who seemed greatly delighted at 
his success in effecting his (Adams) liberation : some 
of them spoke English. 

After remaining there one day, they set out again 
on their journey, and by one o'clock reached Aga- 
deer. As soon as they arrived, the Governour sent 
for Adams, and said to him in the Moorish lan- 
guage, " now, my lad, you may consider yourself 
safe." He afterwards made particular inquiry as 
to the treatment Adams had met with; and on being 
told with what inhumanity he had been used at 
Wadinoon, the Governour said he well knew their 
manner of treating Christians ; but that they were 
savages, and not subjects of the Emperour: he ad- 
ded, that having the good fortune now to be in the 
dominions of the Emperour, Adams might rest satis- 
fied that he was perfectly safe, and would meet with 
nothing but good treatment ; an assurance that af- 
forded him the greatest satisfaction, although ever 
since his departure from Wadinoon he had felt a 
confident belief that his complete deliverance was at 
hand. The next day they resumed their journey, 
and from this time travelled northerly for five days, 
without meeting with any other habitation than oc- 
casional huts. About twelve o'clock on the Mth 

* There is a sanctuary near Santa Cruz, called Cidi Mohammed 
Monsoul, but Adams appears to have confounded it, (probably from 
the similarity of the names) with Cidi Hamet a Moussa. See Note 
56. D. 


day, ascending a hill, they discovered the town of 
Mogadore beneath them, and square rigged vessels 
lying in the harbour: the sight of which, says 
Adams, " I can no otherwise describe than by say- 
" ing, I felt as if a new life had been given to me." 
In about half an hour afterwards they entered the 
town, and immediately went to the house of the 
Governour, who sent Adams to Mr. Dupuis, the 
British Consul ; by whom he was received into his 
house, and treated with the utmost kindness. "Ne- 
" ver," says Adams, " shall I forget the kindness of 
" this good gentleman, who seemed to study how to 
" make me comfortable and happy." 

On the arrival of Adams at Mogadore, it appear- 
ed to be the wish of the Governour to send him to 
the Emperour; but to this Mr. Dupuis objected, 
and Adams remained with him the following eight 
months; in the course of which time, Mr. Dupuis 
frequently interrogated him upon the subject of the 
several places at which he had been in Africa, and 
sent for travellers for the purpose of comparing their 
statements with those given by him ; ( 57 ) after which 
he expressed a strong desire that Adams should come 
to England for the purpose of giving an account of 
his travels, as he said many gentlemen would be 
glad to receive it. But as England and America 
were then at war, Adams was apprehensive lest he 
might be made a prisQner, and therefore declined 
the pressing offers and solicitations of the Consul 
that he should take his passage in an English vessel, 
bound to London. Finding Adams thus averse 
from going to England, and the only vessels which 
were lying at Mogadore being bound thither, Mr. 
Dupuis wrote to the Emperour of Morocco, and 
also to Mr. Simpson the British* Consul at Tan- 

* Mr . Simpson was American Consul. D. 


gier with the view of procuring permission for 
Adams to go to Tangier, from whence he hoped he 
might get a passage by some Spanish vessel to 
Cadiz. This being at length agreed to, Adams 
took leave of Mr. Dupuis in the month of April, 
1814, who sent him under the protection of two 
Moorish soldiers, to Fez, the residence of the Em- 
perour. (* 8 ) 

They travelled on mules ; but as they stopped 
two days at VArrache,* and travelled but slowly, 
it was eighteen days before they arrived at Fez. 
On their arrival the Emperour was absent at Mequi- 
nez, and they accordingly proceeded thither the 
next day, and went to the house of Doctor Manu- 
el, a Portuguese physician, who informed the Em- 
perour of Adams's arrival. Adams was then order- 
ed into the presence of the Emperour, who first 
asked him of what country he was ; he replied, 
" an Englishman." He then inquired into the treat- 
ment he had met with, and whether he liked the 
Moors as well as the Europeans, to which Adams 
answered, "No." The Emperour then ordered 
that Adams should be taken to the Governour ; who, 
the next day, sent him in the charge of two soldiers 
to Tangier, where, travelling on mules, they arrived 
in three days. 

Immediately upon his arrival at Tangier, Adams 
was presented to the Governpur, and then conveyed 
to the Consul, Mr. Simpson ; who, two days after- 
wards, procured him a passage on board a Spanish 
schooner bound to Cadiz, ( 59 ) where he arrived the 
next day, being the 27th of May, 1814, making three 

* Adams has evidently forgotten the situation of El Araische. He 
could not have touched there on his journey from Mogadore to Fez ; 
though he might very probably pass through it on his way from Me- 
quinez to Tangier. The place he alludes to must be either Rhabatt 
or Sallee. D. 


njears and seven months, ( 60 ) since he was wrecked in 
the Charles ; during which period, except from the 
effect of the severe beating he received at Wadi- 
noon, and the weakness produced by his long con- 
finement at that place in irons, he never was sick a 
single day. 

After remaining about fourteen months at Cadiz 
as a servant or groom, in the service of Mr. Hall, 
an English merchant there ; peace having in the 
mean time been restored ; Adams was informed by 
the American Consul that he had nowan opportuni- 
ty of returning to his native country with a cartel, 
or transport, of American seamen, which was on the 
point of sailing from Gibraltar. He accordingly 
proceeded thither ; but arrived two days after the 
vessel had sailed. Soon afterwards he engaged 
himself on board a Welsh brig lying at Gibraltar, in 
which he sailed to Bilboa, from whence the brig 
took a cargo of wool to Bristol ; and, after discharg- 
ing it there, was proceeding in ballast to Liverpool ; 
but having been driven into Holyhead by contrary 
winds, Adams there fell sick, and was put on shore. 
From this place he begged his way up to London, 
where he arrived about the middle of October, 
completely destitute ; and had slept two or three 
nights in the open streets, before he was accidentally 
met by a gentleman, who had seen him in Mr. Hall's 
service at Cadiz, and was acquainted with his his- 
tory ; by whom he was directed to the office of the 
African Committee. 

:nd of the narrative. 


Note 1, p. 30. 

I do not recollect to have heard any suspicion 
stated, either by Adams or others of the crew of the 
" Charles," that the Captain was really bound to any 
other place than the Isle of May, or some other of 
the Cape de Verd Islands ; but the ship's name, the 
owners, Captain, crew and cargo, agree precisely 
with the statements which were made to me at Mo- 
gadore. D. 


Note 2, p. 31. 

El Gazie (the g strongly guttural) has been de- 
scribed to me by Arabs who have occasionally visited 
that part of the coast, chiefly for the purpose of 
sharing or purchasing the plunder of such vessels as 
may be cast on shore : — which misfortune but too 
frequently happens to those who do not use the 
precaution of keeping a good offing ; for most parts 
of this desert coast are so low, and the weather is 
here in general so hazy, as to preclude a distant 
view of the shore. 

The Douar (by which word I mean a village of 
tents, and which I shall accordingly so use hereaf- 
ter, in speaking of the encamped residences of the 
Arabs) is here scarcely deserving of the name ; con- 
sisting, as I have been told, only of a few scattered 

86 El Gazie. — Shipwrecks. 

tents, inhabited by a small community of poor and 
miserable Arabs, whose manner of living, dress and 
appearance, are doubtless such as Adams here de- 
scribes; and who, residing chiefly, if not entirely, on 
the seacoast, become the first possessors of the 
valuables and surviving crews of such vessels as here 
suffer shipwreck. 

As soon as such an event is known in the Desert, 
their Douar becomes a mart, to which Arabs from 
all parts of the interiour resort for trade ; and it even 
not unfrequently happens, that when the news of 
such a catastrophe reaches the southern provinces 
of Barbary, the native traders of Santa Cruz, Moga- 
dore, and their districts, make long journeys for the 
same purpose, and frequently bring back valuable 
articles saved from the wreck, which they purchase 
from the ignorant natives as things of no value. In 
this manner, I have been informed of superfine cloths 
being bought at half a dollar the cubit measure. 
Occasionally also I have seen Bank of England 
notes, which I was assured cost a mere trifle ; the 
purchaser only knowing their value. Watches, 
trinkets, wearing apparel, muslins, silks, linens, &c. 
are gladly disposed of for dates, horses, camels, their 
favourite blue linens (baftas) or any of the few arti- 
cles which are felt by these poor people to be imme- 
diately serviceable in their wretched way of living. 
They are, however, more tenacious of the firearms, 
cutlasses, pikes, cordage, bits of old iron, spike nails, 
and copper, upon which they set great value, and 
therefore seldom part with them. 

This is the common mode of transacting the trade 
of a wreck. However, it not unfrequently happens, 
that when the crew and cargo fall into the posses- 
sion of any tribe of insignificant note, the latter are 
invaded by one of their more powerful neighbours, 
who either strip them by force of all their collected 

French Renegade, — Death of the Captain, 87 

plunder, or compel them, through fear, to barter it 
at rates far beneath its estimated value. In either 
case, whether obtained by purchase or by force, the 
Arabs load their camels with the spoil, and return to 
their homes in the Desert, driving the unfortunate 
Christians before them. The latter, according to 
the interest of their new masters, are sold again or 
bartered to others ; often to Arabs of a different 
tribe, and are thus conveyed in various directions 
across the Desert, suffering every degree of hard- 
ship and severity, which the cruelty, caprice or self- 
interest of their purchasers may dictate. D. 

Note 3, p. 33. 

At the very time that Adams was making this 
statement relative to the Frenchman who had es- 
caped from the Canary Islands, Mr. John Barry, a 
merchant of Teneriffe, accidentally entered the 
room : and upon being asked whether he had ever 
heard of such a circumstance, he stated, that between 
four and five years ago, some French prisoners did 
make their escape from Santa Cruz in a boat belong- 
ing to Canary, and that it was afterwards reported 
they had run their vessel on shore on the Coast of 
Africa, and had been seized and carried into captivi- 
ty by the Moors. 

It can hardly be doubted that the man of whom 
Adams speaks, was one of them. 

Note 4, p. 33. 

I perfectly recollect, that the fact of the Cap- 
tain's death, was mentioned to me by others of the 
Charles's crew who were ransomed at Mogadore. 
as well as by Adams ; but I do not think that I 

88 Jlgadeer Doma. — Ransom of three Sailors. 

was told he was murdered ; only that he died 
from disease, want of nourishment and severe treat- 
ment. D. 

Note 5, p. 35. 

Adams, should have said Jlgadeer Doma. This 
proposition made by the Mate to the Arabs, to con- 
vey the Christians to Senegal, was related to me, as 
we«. by Adams, as by others of the crew who were 
ransomed. The Arabs, I was told, had frequent 
consultations together; apparently to determine how 
they should dispose of their prisoners : after which, 
as if to raise the spirits of the sailors, they would 
point with their fingers to the north, or north-north- 
east; saying many words, which they (the sailors) 
did not understand, and frequently repeating the 
words Siterra and Sultan. D. 

Note 6, p. 35. 

In the spring of 1811, at which time, and until 
the breaking out of the war between Great Britain 
and the United States, I held the commission of 
Agent for the American Consulate at Mogadore, 
(under James Simpson, Esq. Consul General of the 
United States at Tangier,) three of the Charles's 
crew, named Nicholas^ Newsham and Nelson were 
brought to me at Mogadore by an Arab of the tribe 
of Woled Moussebah, for the purpose of bargaining 
for their ransom ; which, after some difficulties de- 
scribed in a subsequent Note, I effected. These men 
related to me the circumstances of their shipwreck, 
almost precisely in the same terms in which they 
were afterwards described to me by Adams, and as 
they are described in the Narrative. They also 
informed me that Adams, (or Rose) and another of 

Soudenny. 89 

the crew had been purchased from the Arabs, who 
first made them prisoners, bj a party who came from 
the eastward, and who had carried him into the 
Desert in that direction. JQ. 

Note 7, p. 37. 

Soudenny has been described to me as a Negro 
town or village bordering on the Desert : and 1 am 
credibly informed by traders, that it is a practice of 
the neighbouring Arabs to resort to the habi prions 
of the Negroes on the confines of the Desert, ior the 
purpose of stealing and carrying them away into 
slavery. This, however, is not the common method 
of procuring slaves ; for it is attended with great 
personal risk, as Adams here relates. During my 
residence in south Barbary, I have frequently in- 
quired of different Negro slaves the manner of their 
falling into the hands of the Arabs ; and many have 
assured me that they were stolen by them from their 
own country, and not regularly purchased at the 
slave marts. D. 

According to Adams's statement of his route, 
Soudenny may be supposed to lie about the 6th de- 
gree of west longitude and the 16th of north lati- 
tude. This situation will fall very near the northern 
confines of Bambarra, where they approach, (if they 
do not actually touch) the Desert, on the eastern 
borders of Ludamar. It also approaches close to 
the line of Park's route in his first journey, when 
endeavouring to escape from the Moors of Benown : 
and we are consequently enabled to derive from 
Park's descriptions, materials for estimating, in some 
degree, the probability of what Adams says respect- 
ing Soudenny. 


90 Soudenny. — Woollo and Fatima. 

Referring therefore to Park's account of this part 
of Africa, we find him drawing a melancholy pic- 
ture of the sufferings of its Negro inhabitants from 
the plundering incursions of Moorish Banditti ; on 
which excursions he says, (4to. ed. p. 159,) " they 
" will seize upon the Negroes' cattle, and even on 
" the inhabitants themselves." On arriving at Sam- 
paka, in Ludamar, he says, p. 119, " the towns' peo- 
" pie informed us that a party of Moors had at- 
" tempted to steal some cattle from the town in the 
** morning, but had been repulsed." He describes 
the Foulahs of Wassiboo, who are extensive culti- 
vators of corn, as "obliged for fear of the Moors 
" to carry their arms with them to the fields." See 
page 187. And in the next page he says, on ap- 
proaching Satile, " the people, who were employed 
" in the corn fields, took us for Moors, and ran 
" screaming away from us. When we arrived at 
" the town, we found the gates shut, and the peo- 
" pie all under arms." 

The places here mentioned are in the immediate 
vicinity of each other; and occur in that part of the 
line of Park's travels, which lies nearest to the pre- 
sumed situation of Soudenny. The details, there- 
fore, afford the nearest evidence which can at pre- 
sent be obtained, by which to estimate the probabi- 
lity of this part of Adams's story ; and it is presum- 
ed that stronger circumstantial corroboration of it, 
will hardly be thought necessary. 

Note 8, p. 40. 

Woollo, which is a Negro, and not a Moorish ap- 
pellative, occurs in a Note on Isaaco's Journal (4to. 
p. 203) as the name of a former King of Bambar- 
ra, the father of Mansong : but the probability of 
Adams's statement in this passage is more immedi- 

Woollo and Fatima. — Dress. 91 

ately corroborated by Mr. Jackson ; who assures 
his readers, that there was a King Woollo, actually 
reigning at Tombuctoo in the year 1800. Mr. 
Jackson further states, that this same King of Tom- 
buctoo was also sovereign of Bambarra ; in which 
respect, however, (as in many other instances where 
he relies on African authority) it is apparent that 
he was misinformed; for the name of the sovereign 
of Bambarra from the year 1795 to 1805 inclusive, 
(the dates of Park's journeys) was certainly Man- 
song. Nevertheless it is very possible that Woollo, 
of whom Mr. Jackson heard in 1800, and whom 
Adams saw in 1811, as King of Tombuctoo, was 
one of the numerous tributaries of the sovereign of 
Bambarra ; and that this connexion between the 
two states may have led to the report that they had 
jointly, but one King. 

The name of Fatima affords, in itself, no proof that 
its possessor was a Moorish or even a Mohamme- 
dan woman : for Park, in speaking of another Ne- 
gro sovereign, (the King of Bondou,) says " this 
"monarch was called Almami, a Moorish name ; al- 
" though I was told that he was not a Mahome- 
" dan, but a Kafir or Pagan." 1st Journey, 4to. 
p. 53. 

Note 9, p.<ll. 

I have always understood the articles of dress at 
Timbuctoo* to be much the same as Adams here de- 
scribes. I have also been told, that the inhabitants 
occasionally wear the alhaik of Barbary (with which 
they are supplied by the Moorish and Arab traders,) 
after the fashion of the inhabitants of the Barbary 

* This city was invariably called Timbuctoo, by all the traders and 
slaves with whom I have conversed respecting it. D. 

92 Dress. — King's House, &e. 

states ; but thai this mode of dress is not very preva- 
lent. I have been assured, that the cotton tree grows 
spontaneously in many parts of Soudan, and that 
the clothes of the natives generally, are of that ma- 
terial, manufactured by themselves. Judging from 
the specimens of their cottons which I have seen, 
they must be good spinners and weavers. Their 
shirts, which are of a fine texture, are imported by 
the caravans into the Barbary states, and are much 
valued by the Arabs and Moors on account of the 
regularity and strength of the thread. Many of 
them are interwoven in particular parts with silk. 
These shirts, which I have frequently seen, are much 
in the shape of a waggoner's frock, supposing it to 
be longer, fuller, and without sleeves : they are 
either white, or simply blue, or blue and white in va- 
rious shades. 

This I have always understood to be the princi- 
al dress of what may termed the middle class of 
egroes; possibly of the Chiefs also: but the poor 
are represented to be clothed simply round the 
waist with a cotton wrapper, more or less coarse^ 
according to the means of the wearer, which either 
hangs down loose, or is twisted between their legs 
and girt round their loins. D. 

Note 10, p. 42. 

With respect to the enclosure of the King's pa- 
lace, into which Adams says the foreign merchan- 
dise is carried, for the payment (as he thinks) of 
duties, what I have heard from Moorish traders with 
reference to such a place, is briefly this ; that the 
palace of the King of Timbuctoo is situated in 
what they call the kusba, or citadel, in the centre of 
the town ; which being a place of security, the tra- 
ders naturally deposit their effects therein, and even 


King's House, tfe, — Muskets. 9:i 

inhabit a part of it ; and that duties, (the nature 
and rate of which I do not recollect) are exacted 
by the King on all merchandise brought by stran- 

With respect to the King's palace, and the houses 
generally, I have been informed that they are only 
one story high. It has also been stated to me that there 
are shops in the city, which the Negroes frequent 
for the purchase of foreign and domestick commo- 
dities ; and that natives of all parts of Soudan may 
be seen there, many of them entirely naked. 

The country, without the gates of the enclosure 
or citadel noticed above, is represented to be thick- 
ly covered with the hovels or huts of the natives as 
far as the eye can reach ; especially in the direc- 
tion of the river, to the banks of which these 
habitations extend, deserving, in fact, the name of a 
town. D. 

From Park's description (1st Journey, 4 to. p. 22) 
the palace of the King of Bondou appears to be a 
structure very much resembling that described by 
Adams at Tombuctoo. 

" All the houses," he says, " belonging to the 
" King and his family, are surrounded by a lofty 
" mud wall, which converts the whole into a kind of 
" citadel. The interiour is subdivided into different 

" courts." 

Note 11, p. 42. 

I perfectly recollect that Adams told me at Mo- 
gadore of these muskets which he had seen in the 
King's house at Timbuctoo ; and at the same time 
that fire arms were not used by the inhabitants; 
which agrees with what I have heard from other 

84 Muskets. — Houses. 

In the northern regions of the Desert, I have al- 
ways understood that double-barrelled guns are in 
common use ; and Park mentions them even on the 
south and southwestern confines of the Desert : 
but the arms of the Arabs, bordering on the Ne- 
groes of Timbuctoo, have been described to me by 
the traders, to consist of javelins, swords and dag- 
gers. D. 

Note 12, p. 43. 

As far as I can recollect, the description, which I 
received from Adams in Barbary, of the houses of 
Timbuctoo, was more detailed than that in the Nar- 
rative. There were, he said, two distinct sorts of 
habitations; the houses of the Chiefs and wealthier 
Negroes, and the huts of the poor. The former 
(as well as the palace of the King,) he described as 
having walls of clay, or clay and sand, rammed into 
a wooden case or frame, and placed in layers one 
above another until they attained the height requir- 
ed ; the roof being composed of poles or rafters 
laid horizontally, and covered with a cement or 
plaster of clay and sand. The huts of the poorer 
people are constructed merely of the branches of 
trees stuck into the ground in circles, bent, and 
lashed together at the top. This frame is then cov- 
ered with a sort of matting made of a vegetable 
substance which he called grass, but which, from 
his description appeared to be the palmeta (called 
dome by the Arabs,) and the hut, I think he told me, 
was afterwards covered with clay. 

This description corresponds in all respects with 
those which I have received from the Arab and 
Moorish traders. D. 

La Mar Zarah. 95 

Note 13, p. 43. 

I do not ^tt all recollect either by what name 
Adams spoke^of the river of Timbuctoo, when he 
mentioned it to me at Mogadore, or that I have ever 
heard it called La Mar Zarah, by any of the traders 
with whom I have conversed. If I were to hazard a 
conjecture on so uncertain a subject, I might suppose 
that Adams had made a slight mistake in repeating this 
name ; and that he should have said, El Bohar Sa- 
hara, which in Arabick would mean the Desert Sea, or 
the River of the Desert. His pronunciation of Ara- 
bick was at all times indistinct, and often quite incor- 
rect ; and I remember other words in which he in- 
terchanged the sound of different consonants in the 
manner that I have here supposed. However, La 
Mar Zarah may very possibly be the name of the 
river in the language of the Negroes. 

Another question here suggests itself, whether the 
river mentioned by Adams is really the great river 
Niger ; or whether it is only a branch of it flowing 
from the southeast parts of the Desert, and falling 
into the principal stream not far from Timbuctoo ? 

The river of Timbuctoo (which I have always sup- 
posed to be the Niger itself) is called by the traders 
of Barbary, indiscriminately by the several names of 
Wed-Nile, Bahar-Nile, or Bahar-Abide. The same 
people have described it to me in a situation corres- 
ponding with that in the Narrative ; at a very short 
distance from the town, and as pursuing its course 
through fertile countries on the east and southeast 
borders of the Desert ; after which it is generally 
supposed in Barbary to fall into the Nile of Egypt. 

According to these statements of the Moorish tra- 
ders, Adams would seem to have mistaken the course 
of the stream at Timbuctoo. In fact, I do not recol- 
lect that he told me at Mogadore, that it flowed in a 

96 La Mar Zarah. — Canoes. 

westerly direction : but 1 think I am correct in say- 
ing, lhat he discovered some uncertainty in speaking 
upon this subject, (and almost upon this subject 
alone,) observing, in answer to my injuries, that he 
had not taken very particular notice, and that the 
river was steady, without any appearance of a strong 

The mountains near Timbuctoo, between which, 
Adams describes the river to flow, have also 
been mentioned to me by the traders from Bar- 
bary. Z). 

It is certain that Adams spoke with apparently 
less confidence of the direction of the stream of the 
La Mar Zarah. than of any other point o( his Nar- 
rative. Nevertheless, although he was repeatedly 
questioned upon the subject, and might easily per- 
ceive that the fact of a stream flowing in that direc- 
tion, in that place, was considered extremely impro- 
bable, he invariably stated his preponderating belief 
that it did flow to the southwest. 

We shall reserve for our concluding Note, a few 
further remarks on this point of the Narrative; and 
shall only add in this place (to Mr. Dupuis' very 
probable conjecture on the subject) that the Span- 
ish geographer Marmol, who describes himself to 
have spent twenty years of warfare and slavery in 
Africa, about the middle of the 1 6th century, men- 
tions the river Lahamar as a branch of the Niger ; 
having muddy and unpalatable waters. By the same 
authority the Niger itself is called Yea or Issa at 
Tombuctoo ; a name which D'Anvillc has adopted 
in his maps of Africa. 

Note 14, p. 44 

The description which Adams gives of the vessels 
or canoes at Timbuctoo, is, as far as it goes, consist- 

Canoes. — Fruits. 97 

ent with what I recollect of his statement to me at 

Mogadore. But I think he described them to me as 
being more numerous : adding, that he had seen them 
navigate the river in fleets of from ten to twenty canoes 
together: that he had been informed that thev were 
absent occasionally a month or more, and that fre- 
quently they returned to Timbuctoo, laden with 
slaves and merchandise. He also mentioned Jimae 
to me, as a place to which, as he understood, the 
inhabitants of Timbuctoo resorted for trade; and 
that the communication between the two cities was 
by water. 

I ought to observe, moreover, that these particu- 
lars correspond in substance with the information 
which 1 have obtained from Arab and Moorish tra- 
ders respecting Timbuctoo, and the JS'ile-Jlbide. 
The same persons have told me that Jinnie lay 
fifteen days' journey to the southwest of Tim- 
buctoo. D. 

Note 15, p. 44. 

I do not recollect to have heard dates orpine apples 
mentioned by any of the natives of Barbary who 
have visited Timbuctoo; but I have heard that both 
figs and cocoa nuts grow there. The other vegeta- 
bles enumerated by Adams in the Narrative, and 
which he also mentioned to me, are described by 
traders as being produced, generally speaking, 
throughout Soudan. D. 

With respect to dates, Park in his first Journey, 
mentions two occasions on which he met with them 
in Soudan; first at Gang-adi near the Seuegal above 
Galam, where "he observed a number of date trees," 
4to. p. 71 : and, secondly, dates were part of the 


98 Canoes. — Fruits. 

food set before him by the Foulah shepherd on the 
northern confines of Barnbarra, mentioned in p. 182, 

Speaking generally of the vegetable productions 
of Soudan, Park says, p. 250 : " Although many 
" species of the edible roots which grow in the West 
" India Islands are found in Africa, yet I never saw, 
" in any part of my journey, either the sugar cane, 
" the coffee, or the cacao tree ; nor could I learn on 
" inquiry, that they were known to the natives. The 
" pine apple, and the thousand other delicious fruits 
" which the industry of civilized man has brought 
" to so great perfection in the tropical climates of 
" America, are here equally unknown." 

The pine apple, however, is well known upon the 
Gold Coast, and in the Bight of Benin ; and there 
appears to be no sufficient reason for doubting that 
it grows at Tombuctoo. We have not heard that 
Africa produces the cacao tree ; but the sugar cane 
and the coffee plant are both amongst its products. 
Both are found upon the coasts just mentioned ; and 
coffee has long been known to grow in abundance in 

With respect to the cocoa nut tree, (not the cacao) 
which Adams names amongst the vegetable produc- 
tions of Tombuctoo, some doubts of his accuracy in 
this respect have arisen ; first, in consequence of the 
opinion that this tree flourishes only near the shores 
of the sea ; and, secondly, because Adams was una- 
ble to describe its appearance. But as we are not 
disposed, on the one hand, to attach much value to 
the botanical recollections of a common sailor, nei- 
ther do we think, on the other, that much stress 
ought to be laid either upon the fact of his having 
forgotten, or upon his inability to describe the ap- 
pearance of any plants, which he may have seen. It 
would be by the fruit which it bore, that we should 
expect such a person to recollect any particular tree ; 
and before we reject his assertion respecting the 


Fruits. — Quadrupeds. — Heiries. 99 

latter, we ought to consider that he mentions the 
former, incidentally, not less than three times in the 
course of his Narrative. 

Although these circumstances entitle Adams's 
statement to considerable attention, yet we shall not 
be much surprised if he should be found to have 
mistaken the shell of the calabash (which is known 
to be much in use amongst the Mandingoes to the 
westward) for that of the cocoa nut, when he speaks 
of the latter as a common domestick utensil at 
Tombuctoo, and as employed by the natives in 
the composition of one of their musical instruments. 

Note 16,;?. 45. 

In speaking of the quadrupeds at Timbuctoo, 
\dams says there are no horses. I do not recollect 
that he told me this at Mogadore, but I am disposed 
to give credit to the statement, from the correspond- 
ing accounts which I have received from traders. 
The same opinion prevails among the resident Moors 
of Barbary, who, in deriding and reviling their Ne- 
gro slaves, frequently use a proverbial expression, 
implying, that " God, who had blessed the Moors with 
" horses, had cursed the Negroes with asses." The 
other animals which Adams here mentions are, in 
general, the same as are described by the Arab and 
Moorish traders. D. 

Note 17, p. 45. 

The Heiries, of which Adams speaks, are doubt- 
less the species of camel which is known by that 
name in the Desert. What I can learn with certain- 
ty respecting this extraordinary animal (one of which 
I have seen at Morocco, brought by the Arabs of 
Aboussebah as a present to the Emperour) is, that 

100 Heiries. — Elephant Hunting. 

though there is scarcely any visible difference be* 
tween it and the common camel, its speed, pa- 
tience, and abstinence, are much greater; and, that 
it is, on these accounts, highly prized by the 
Arabs. D. 

There can be no doubt that Adams's heirie is the 
animal described by Leo Africanus in the follow- 
ing passage, which we quote from the Latin trans- 
lation before us; " Tertium genus (camelorum) 
" patria lingua ragnahil dictum, gracilibus exiguaeque 
" staturae camelis, constat; qui sarcinis gerendisinfe- 
" riores, reliquos tanta sui pernicitate superant, ut 
" diei unius spatio centum passuum millia confici- 
" ant, iter modico viatico ad dies octo vel decern 
" perpetuantes." And Pennant's description of the 
animal accords still more minutely with the details 
given by Adams. (See Pennant's Zool. 4to. vol. i. 
p. 131.) "There are varieties among the camels; 
" what is called the dromedary, Maihary, and ra- 
" guahl is very swift. The latter has a less hunch, 
" is much inferiour in size, never carries burdens, 
" but is used to ride on." 

Note 18, p. 46. 

I have been frequently informed that elephant hunt- 
ing is common at Timbuctoo as well as in most 
parts of Soudan : and it is certain that great num- 
bers of their teeth are brought by the caravans into 
Barbary. The manner in which Adams describes 
the hunting, in the Narrative, corresponds exactly 
with what he related to me at Mogadore ; as well 
as with the accounts which I had previously heard 
from traders, of the mode of hunting practised by 
the Negroes of Timbuctoo. 

Elephant Hunting, 101 

I do not recollect the exact dimensions of the 
elephant which Adams described to me ; and 1 am 
confident that no such phenomenon as the ^ four 
" tusks" was mentioned to me at Mogadore. In fact, 
I do not think that I asked him any question what- 
ever on the subject of the teeth, or that they were 
mentioned by him at all. D. 

It must be admitted that Adams has attributed 
dimensions to his elephant, which .. considerably, am- 
pass the limits of any previous authorities respecting 
this most bulky of animals : but without attempting 
to maintain the possibility of his accuracy, by quot- 
ing the authorities of Buffon and others, who have 
represented the breed of elephants in the interiour 
and eastern parts of Africa, as greatly exceeding in 
size those of the western coast, and even as being 
larger than the elephants of the East Indies ; all 
that we shall here contend for is, the probability, that 
Adams, in this instance relates no more than he 
honestly believes he saw. He did not approach the 
animal nearer than three quarters of a mile whilst it 
was alive ; and it is not surprising that the sight for 
the first time of so huge a body, when lying dead on 
the ground, should impress him with an exaggerated 
idea of its dimensions. 

However, we will not deny that the strange novel- 
ty of this stupendous creature seems to have dis- 
turbed Adams's usual accuracy of observation : we 
allude to his subsequent mistake about the animal's 
" four tusks." 

It would be dealing rather unreasonably with a 
rude sailor, cast upon the wilds of Africa, to expect 
that he should in that situation, whilst every thing 
was strange and new around him, minutely observe, 
— or could at a long interval afterwards, . correctly 

102 Elephant Hunting. — Alligators. — Courcoo. 

describe, — the details of the plants* or animals which 
he had there an opportunity of seeing; and it would 
be unjust, indeed, to make his accuracy on these 
points the standard of his veracity. 

The same objects which would be full of interest 
to a tutored eye, and would be scanned in all their 
parts with eager and systematick curiosity, might 
^ass almost/unobserved before the vague and indif- 
ferent, glance .of *an uncultivated individual like 
Adams-; and his recollection of them, if he recollect- 
ed them at all, would only extend to a rude and 
indistinct idea of their general appearance. The 
details in the text leave no room to doubt that it was 
an elephant which Adams saw ; and, with respect to 
the teeth, it must not be forgotten, that he was ques- 
tioned about them, apparently for the first time, more 
than four years after he saw the animal. If his ob- 
servation of it might be expected to be vague and 
indistinct, even at first, it would not be very extraor- 
dinary that his recollection of it, after so long an in- 
terval, should be far from accurate ; and we cannot 
feel much surprise that, though he remembered that 
the animal had teeth, he should not be very well 
able to recollect whether it had tivo or four. 

Note 19, p. 47. 

Alligators I have been informed are met with in 
the river near Timbuctoo ; but I never heard the 
hippopotamus mentioned. D. 

Note 20, p. 47. 

I never before heard of this extraordinary animal, 
either from Adams or any one else. D. 

* See Note U. 

Courcoo. — Wild Beasts. — Birds. — Poison. 103 

It would be unfair to Adams not to explain, that 
when questioned as to his personal knowledge of the 
"courcoo," it appeared that he had never seen the 
animal nearer than at thirty or forty yards distance. 
It was from the Negroes he learnt that it had on its 
back " a hollow place like a pouch, which they call- 
" ed ' coo,'' " in which it pocketed its prey ; and 
having once seen the creature carrying a branch of 
cocoa nut with its fruit, " which, as the courcoo ran 
" swiftly away, seemed to lie on its back,'' Adams 
concluded of course that the pocket must be there ; 
and further, that the animal fed on cocoa nuts, as 
well as goats and children. 

In many respects Adams's description of the ani- 
mal, (about which the Narrative shews that he was 
closely questioned,) answers to the lynx. 

JSote 21, p. 47. 

Lions , tigers, wolves, hyaenas, foxes, and wild cats, 
have been described to me as natives of most parts 
of Soudan ; and are hunted by the Negroes on ac- 
count of the ravages which they frequently make 
amongst their flocks and domestick animals. D. 

Note 22, p. 47. 

The birds, both wild and tame, are, to the best 
of my recollection, the same as he previously de- 
scribed to me. The ostriches he told me were hunt- 
ed both for their flesh and feathers, the latter not 
being used by the Negroes, except in trade with 
the Moors : who occasionally bring them to Bar- 
bary. D. 

Jtyte 23, p, 48. 

The poisonous liquid prepared from " black lumps 
"like opium," into which the Negroes of Tombuc- 

104 Poison. — Anointing. — Maries of the Negroes. 

too dip their arrows, appears to be the same as that 
which Park describes the Mandingoes to use, for a 
similar purpose. 

" The poison, which is very deadly, is prepared 
" from a shrub called kooma, (a species of echites ;) 
" the leaves of which, when boiled in a small quantity 
" of water, yield a thick, black juice." 1st Journey, 
4to. p. 281. 

Note 24, p. 49. 

Park observed a similar custom of anointing their 
persons among the Negroes of Bondou. See 1st 
Journey, 4to. p. 62. " The cream of cows' milk 
" is converted into butter by stirring it violently in 
" a large calabash. This butter forms a part of 
u most of their dishes ; it serves likewise to anoint 
" their heads ; and is bestowed very liberally on 
" their faces and arms." 

Note 25, p. 49. 

This account of the marks on the faces of the in- 
habitants of Timbuctoo, agrees with that which 
Adams gave at Mogadore. 

I have occasionally seen Negroes with similar in- 
cisions on their faces, but I cannot state with any 
confidence that they came from Timbuctoo. How- 
ever, I have certainly heard from some of the tra- 
ders that these marks are a prevalent, if not uni- 
versal, ornament of the male Negroes of that coun- 

Many of the Negro slaves brought up to Barba- 
ry by the Arabs, have the cartilage of the nose bor- 
ed through, in which it is said, they wear in their 
own countries, a large gold rin§, in the manner de- 
scribed by Adams of the Negroes between Sou- 

Marks of the Negroes. — Polygamy. — Religion. 105 

denny and Timbuctoo. I have frequently seen female 
slaves with perforations in the lobes of their ears, 
which had the appearance of having been distended 
by wearing heavy ornaments. D. 

Note 26, p. 50. 

Here again Adams, in his assertion of the exist- 
ence of polygamy amongst the Negroes, and in 
his shrewd observation of the feuds which it excit- 
ed amongst the ladies, may be illustrated and corro- 
borated by a parallel passage from Park. 

" As the Kafirs (Pagan Negroes) are not restrict- 
" ed in the number of their wives, every one mar- 
" ries as many as he can conveniently maintain ; and 
" as it frequently happens that the ladies disagree 
" amongst themselves, family quarrels sometimes 
" rise to such a height that the authority of the hus- 
" band can no longer preserve peace in his house- 
" hold." 1st Journey, 4to. pp. 39, 40. 

' Note 27, p. 51. 

I cannot speak with any confidence of the reli- 
gion of the Negroes of Timbuctoo. 

However, I have certainly heard, and entertain 
little doubt, that many of the inhabitants are Mo- 
hammedans: it is also generally believed in Barbary, 
that there are mosques at Timbuctoo. But on the 
other hand, I am pretty confident that the King is 
neither an Arab nor a Moor ; especially as the tra- 
ders from whom I have collected these accounts 
have been either the one, or the other; and I might 
consequently presume, that if they did give me er- 
roneous information on any points, it would at least 
not be to the prejudice both of their national self- 


106 Religio7i. 

conceit, and of the credit and honour of their reli- 

I think Adams told me that circumcision is not un- 
frequent there; and I have been informed by 
traders that it is common, though not universal, 
throughout Soudan; but without necessarily imply- 
ing Mohammedanism in those who undergo the 
practice. Z). 

Park has stated circumcision to be common 
amongst the Negroes nearer the coast ; and Barrow 
and other travellers describe the custom to be preva- 
lent amongst the natives of some of the countries of 
southern Africa; but it does not appear in either of 
these cases to be practised exclusively as a Mo- 
hammedan rite. 

With respect to the religious ceremonies in ge- 
neral, of the Pagan natives of Soudan, Park says, 
that on the first appearance of the new moon they 
say a short prayer, which is pronounced in a whis- 
per, the party holding up his hands before his face ; 
and that this " seems to be the only'visible adora- 
" tion which the Kafirs offer up to the Supreme 
"Being." (1st Journey, 4to. p. 272.) Thus far 
Adams's observation appears to have been perfectly 
accurate, that they have " no publick religion, no 
" house of worship, no priest, and never meet to- 
" gether to pray." But it is difficult to suppose that 
there are not Mohammedan converts amongst the 
Negroes of Tombuctoo, who publicly exercise the 
ceremonies of their religion : and w T e apprehend 
that Adams will be suspected of careless observa- 
tion on that subject, notwithstanding the confidence 
with which he speaks of it. Indeed we should have- 
said, that he had himself born testimony to some 
of the externals of Islamism, when he mentions the 
turbans which the Chiefs of Soudenny and Toinbuc- 

Religion. — Physicians. — Sorcery. 1 07 

too occasionally wore, did we not learn from Park, 
that the Kafirs are in the habit of adopting the cus- 
toms, names, and even in some instances, the 
prayers* of the Mohammedans, without adopting 
their religious ceremonies or creed. 

Note 28, p. 52. 

Adams gave me a particular description of the 
wen or swelling on the back of his hand, and of its 
cure at Timbuctoo, in the manner here related. 

I may take this opportunity of observing, that he 
recounted at Mogadore, (what I do not find in the 
Narrative,) several miraculous stories of the super- 
natural powers, or charms possessed by some of the 
Negroes, and which they practised both defensively 
to protect their own persons from harm, and offen- 
sively against their enemies. Of these details I do 
not distinctly remember more than the following 
circumstance, which I think he told me happened in 
his presence : 

A Negro slave, the property of a Desert Arab, 
having been threatened by his master with severe 
punishment for some offence, defied his power to 
hurt him, in consequence of a charm by which he 
was protected. Upon this the Arab seized a gun, 
which he loaded with ball, and fired at only a few 
paces distance from the Negro's breast: but the 
Negro, instead of being injured by the shot, stoop- 
ed to the ground, and picked up the ball which had 
fallen inoffensive at his feet ! 

It seems strange that Adams should have omitted 
these extraordinary stories (and almost these alone) 
in his Narrative ; for he frequently expressed to me 
a firm belief, that the Negroes were capable of in- 

* See Park's 1st Journey, 4to. p. 37. 

108 Sorcery. — Dancing. 

juring their enemies by witchcraft; and he once 
pointed out to me a slave at Mogadore, of whom, on 
that account he stood peculiarly in awe. He doubt- 
less imbibed this belief, and learnt the other absurd 
stories which he related, from the Arabs; some of 
whom profess to be acquainted with the art them- 
selves, and all of whom, I believe, are firmly per- 
suaded of its existence, and of the peculiar profi- 
ciency of the Negroes in it. D. 

Is it unreasonable to suppose, that having found 
his miraculous stories, and his belief in witchcraft, 
discredited and laughed at, both at Mogadore and 
Cadiz, Adams should at length have grown ashamed 
of repeating them, or even have outlived his super- 
stitious credulity ? This solitary instance of sup- 
pression (the particular stories suppressed being of 
so absurd a nature,) may rather be considered as a 
proof of his good sense, and as the exercise of a 
very allowable discretion, than as evidence of an 
artfulness, of which not a trace has been detected in 
any other part of his conduct. 

Note 29, p. 53. 

The dancing of the people of Timbuctoo has 
been frequently described to me by Adams ; and on 
one occasion particularly, when some Negro slaves 
were enjoying this their favourite amusement, at 
Mogadore, he brought me to the spot, telling me 
that their dance was similar to those in Soudan which 
he had described to me. The following was the 
nature of the dance: — six or seven men, joining 
hands, surrounded one in the centre of the ring, who 
was dressed in a ludicrous manner, wearing a large 
black wig stuck full of cowries. This man at intervals 
repeated verses which, from the astonishment and 


Dancing. 109 


admiration expressed at them by those in the ring, 
appeared to be extempore. Two performers were 
playing on the outside of the ring; one on a large 
drum, the other on a sort of guitar. They did not 
interrupt the singer in the ring during his recitations ; 
but at the end of every verse, the instruments struck 
up, and the whole party joined in loud chorus, danc- 
ing round the man in the circle, stooping to the 
ground and throwing up their legs alternately. To- 
wards the end of the dance, the man in the middle 
of the ring was released from his enclosure, and danc- 
ed alone, occasionally reciting verses ; whilst the 
other dancers begged money from the by-standers. 

1 do not recollect to have seen any of the female 
slaves join in these dances ; but I have observed them 
very much interested whilst attending the diversion: 
sometimes appearing extravagantly delighted, and at 
others exhibiting signs of mourning and sorrow. 

These dances were prohibited soon after the ac- 
cession of the present Emperour ; but they have been 
occasionally permitted of late years. Whether the 
prohibition arose from some connexion, either real 
or supposed, which the dances had with any of the 
religious ceremonies of the Negroes, offensive to the 
Mohammedans, I was never able to ascertain. D. 

The dancing of the Negroes at Joag in Kajaaga, 
as described by Mr. Park, corresponds very remarka- 
bly with Adams's description of the same amusement 
at Tombuctoo. 

" 1. found," he says, 1st Journey 4to. p. 68, " a 
" great crowd surrounding a party who were danc- 
" ing by the light of some large fires, to the musick 
" of four drums, which were beaten with great 
" exactness and uniformity. The dances, however, 
" consisted more in wanton gestures than in muscu- 
" lar exertion or graceful attitudes. The ladies vied 

110 Bambarra. — Slaves. 

" with each other in displaying the most voluptuous 
M movements imaginable. They continued to dance 
" until midnight." 

Note 30, p. 53. 

This statement, which is in opposition to the usual 
opinion that Tombuctoo is a dependency of Bambar- 
ra, receives some corroboration from a passage in 
Isaaco's Journal, (4to. p. 205) where a " Prince of 
" Tombuctoo" is accused by the King of Sego, of hav- 
ing, either personally or by his people, plundered 
two Bambarra caravans, and taken both merchandise 
and slaves. This was in September 1810, some 
months previous to the date of the expeditions men- 
tioned in the Narrative. 

Note 31, p. 54. 

The Negro slaves brought to Barbary from Tim- 
buctoo appear to be of various nations; many of 
them distinguishable by the make of their persons 
and features, as well as by their language. I have 
seen slaves, who were described as coming from the 
remote country of Wamgara ; but the greater part 
of them aro brought from Bambarra ; the Negroes of 
that nation being most sought after, and fetching the 
highest prices in Barbary. 

1 recollect an unusually tall, stout Negress at 
Mogadore, whose master assured me that she belong- 
ed to a populous nation of cannibals'. I do not'know 
whether the fact was sufficiently authenticated; but 
it is certain that the woman herself declared it, ad- 
ding some revolting^ accounts of her own feasts on 
human flesh. 

Being in the habit of inquiring from Negroes at 
Mogadore the manner of their falling into slavery, I 


Slaves, 111 

received, on one such occasion, from a Bambarreen 
Negro, a long account of his capture, (on a plunder- 
ing expedition) his sale, escape, and recapture, 
amongst different Negro nations before he was final- 
ly sold, at Timbuctoo, to the Arabs. His account 
was chiefly curious from Jiis description of a nation 
which he called Gollo or Quallo, which conveyed to 
me an idea of a people more advanced in the arts, 
and wealthier than any that J. had previously heard 
of. The King's palace and the houses in general 
were described as superiour structures to those of 
the Moors: and he even spoke of domesticated 
elephants trained to war, of which the King had a 
large force. 

To this nation he was conveyed by a party of its 
natives, a stout race of people ; who, happening to 
be in a town on the Weil-Nile, in which he and half 
of the plundering party to which he belonged, had 
been made prisoners, bought him from his captors, 
and carried hirfr«away to their own country. They 
arrived at Gollo after nearly a month's journey inland 
from the river; during which they crossed a large 
chain of mountains ; and as far as I could judge from 
his account, the country lay southeast of Bambarra. 
Within three days' journey of the capital was a large 
lake or river which communicated with the Wed- 
Nile, by which he eventually escaped. 

Notwithstanding the reserve with which the sto- 
ries of Negroes must be received, there was a cir- 
cumstantiality in this man's account, which seemed 
very like the truth ; and he bore about him ocular 
evidence in corroboration of one part of his story; 
namely, that the right ears of himself and his plun- 
dering companions were cut off, as a punishment, 
by the people who sold him to the Negroes of 
Gollo. D. 

112 Punishments. — Shops and Trade. 

Note 32, p. 55. 

It was already evident from Park's accounts, and 
the fact receives a more extended confirmation from 
Adams, that the Negroes in the interiour of Soudan 
are in general harmless and compassionate in their per- 
sonal characters, and humane in their laws; in which 
respects they are remarkably distinguished from 
many of their neighbours to the south, who, besides 
the ordinary implacability of savages towards their 
external and publick enemies, are not sparing of the 
blood of their own countrymen, in their quarrels, 
punishments, or superstitious sacrifices. 

Adams's account of the punishment assigned by 
the laws of Tombuctoo to the principal criminal 
offences, is substantially the same as that given by 
Park, in speaking of the laws of the Mandingoes; 
amongst whom, he informs us, that murder, adultery, 
and whitchcraft (which, in other words, is the admin- 
istering of poison) are punished with slavery. It 
appears, however, that in cases of murder, the rela- 
tions of the deceased have, in the first instance, pow- 
er over the life of the offender. 

The infrequency of the punishment of death, in a 
community which counts human life amongst its 
most valuable objects of trade, is not, however, very 
surprising; and considerable influence must be con- 
ceded to the operation of self-interest, as well as to 
the feelings of humanity, in accounting for this mer- 
ciful feature (if it be indeed merciful) in the criminal 
code of the Negroes of Soudan. 

Note 33, p. 55. 

I do not at present recollect whether Adams told 
me, that there were, or that there were not, shops 
at Timbuctoo ; but, as I have stated in Note 10, I 

Shops and Trade. — Cowries. 113 

have been informed by some of the traders, and am 
disposed to believe, that there arc shops, in which 
foreign merchandise, and the domestick commodities 
of the inhabitants, are exposed for sale. Others, how- 
ever, have contradicted this account. 

The articles of trade which Adams enumerates in 
the succeeding lines, appear to me to correspond with 
tolerable accuracy with those which the caravans 
from the Barbary states carry to Soudan, and bring 
from thence. 

This trade from the states of Morocco, which ap- 
pears to have been carried on to a considerable and 
uniform extent since the reign of Mulai Ismael (at 
whose death the dominion previously exercised by 
the Moors over the natives of Timbuctoo is reported 
to have been shaken off by the latter,) has begun to 
decline of late years, in consequence of the es- 
tablishment of the market of Hamet a JWousa in the 
territory of the Cid Heshem, described in a subse- 
quent note : and I do not suppose that more than a 
hundred of the Emperour's subjects now annually 
cross the Desert. 

With respect to the caravans themselves, their man- 
ner of assembling and travelling, the dangers which 
they incur in the Desert from the Shume wind, from 
want of water, and from the marauding disposition 
of the Desert Arabs, have been so fully described in 
other places, that any further detail here would be 
unnecessary. D. 

Note 34, p. 55. 

In quoting the price in cowries of a full grown 
slave, Adams must certainly have committed a great 
mistake. I remember he told me that the Arabs 
gave a considerable value in tobacco or other raer- 


114 Cowries. — Moots at Tombuctoo. 

chandise for a slave ; and that he thought them 
cheaper in the Desert than at Timbuctoo. D. 

At Sansanding Park gives forty thousand cowries, 
as the current price of a male slave : it is not possible 
that the value either of cowries or slaves can be so 
utterly disproportionate in two countries so near to 
each other. Adams must have been quite in the 
dark with respect to the real terms of the bargain. 

Note 35, p. 56. 

That the people of Timbuctoo should feel some 
jealousy of the tribes of Arabs immediately in their 
neighbourhood, is extremely probable, considering 
the general marauding characters of the latter ; but 
I do not know what particular measures of exclusion 
are enforced against them. With respect to the 
traders from Barbary, I have always been told that 
they are permitted to reside at Timbuctoo as long as 
they think proper. On the other hand, I believe, 
that camel drivers, Arab guides, and those attached 
to the caravans, who are either not able, or not will- 
ing, to make the King a present, are excluded. D. 

Adams's assertion, that he saw no Moors during 
his stay at Tombuctoo, except the aforesaid two 
parties, is not so improbable as it may at first sight 

Tombuctoo, although it is become, in consequence 
of its frontier situation, the port, as it were, of the 
caravans from the north (which could not return 
across the Desert the same season if they were to 
penetrate deeper into Soudan) is yet, with respect 
to the trade itself, probably only the point from 
whence it diverges to Haoussa, Tuarick, &c. on the 
east, and to Walet, Jinnie, and Sego, in the west 
and south, and not the mart where the merchandise 
of the caravans is sold in detail. Park was inform- 

Moors at Tombuctoo. — Negroes. 115 

ed, that Haoussa and Walet were, both of them, lar- 
ger cities than Tombuctoo. Such Moors therefore 
as did not return to Barbarj with the returning cara- 
van, but remained in Soudan until the following sea- 
son, might be expected to follow their trade to the 
larger marts of the interiour, and to return to Tom- 
buctoo, only to meet the next winter's caravans. 
Adams, arriving at Tombuctoo in February, and 
departing in June, might therefore miss both the 
caravans themselves and the traders who remained 
behind in Soudan : and, in like manner, Park might 
find Moors carrying on an active trade in the summer, 
at Sansanding, and yet there might not be one at 

With respect to the trade actually carried on at 
Tombuctoo (which makes but an insignificant figure 
in Adams's account,) we can only regret that a per- 
son placed in his extraordinary situation, was not 
better qualified to collect or communicate more satis- 
factory information on this and many other interest- 
ing subjects. However, his lists of the articles of 
trade show that he was not wholly unobservant in 
this respect; and we cannot but think it probable 
that the " armed parties of a hundred men or more," 
which he describes at page 53, as going out once a 
month for slaves, and returning sometimes in a week, 
and sometimes after a longer absence, were in reali- 
ty traders. 

Note 36, p. 56. 

I was frequently told by Adams, who appeared to 
take pleasure in speaking of the circumstance, that 
the Negroes behaved to him on all occasions with 
great humanity, never insulting or illtreating him on 
account of his religion, as the Arabs did. He was 
never confined at Timbuctoo, but could go where he 
pleased. Upon these grounds I entertain little doubt 

116 Negro Curiosity, — Crossing the Desert, 

(and I was conrfimed in my opinion by Timbuctoo 
traders with whom I conversed on the subject) that 
had Adams explained his story to the Negroes, and 
expressed any unwillingness to accompany the Arabs 
on their return, he would have been rescued out of 
their hands, and left at liberty. I do not recollect 
whether he told me, that the idea had ever occurred 
to him; but, if it did, it is probable that when he 
came to consider his hopeless prospect of reaching 
the seacoast, if left to himself, and that the Arabs had 
promised to take him to Suerra after their expedi- 
tion to Soudenny ; he would prefer the chance of ulti- 
mate liberation afforded him by accompanying the 
Arabs, of whose severe treatment he had then had 
but a short experience. D. 

Note 37, p. 56. 

I do not imagine that the curiosity of the Negroes 
can have been excited so much on account of Adams's 
colour, as because he was a Christian, and a Chris- 
tian slave, which would naturally be to them a 
source of great astonishment. The Negroes must 
have seen, in the caravans from the Barbary states 
which annually visit the countries of Soudan, and 
Timbuctoo in particular, many Moors, especially 
those from Fez, of a complexion quite as light as 
that of Adams. D. 

• Note 38, p. 56. 

September and October are the months in which 
the caravans from Barbary to Timbuctoo assemble 
on the northern confines of the Desert. They com- 
mence their journey as soon as the first rains have 
cooled the ground, and arrive again from the De- 
sert about the month of March. Z). 

Crossing the Desert. — Joliba. 117 


Whilst Adams states in the text, on the one hand, 
that the Desert can be crossed only in winter during 
the rainy season, it appears, on the other, that he 
himself must have crossed it in July. (See Note 60.) 
Yet, upon examination, the circumstances of the Nar- 
rative will be found not only to reconcile this appa- 
rent contradiction, but even to add to the internal 
evidence of the truth of Adams's story. The winter 
is, admittedly, the only proper time for crossing the 
Desert, and (as Mr Dupuis states in the preceding 
part of this Note,) the trading caravans from Barba- 
ry never attempt the journey at any other season. 
But the solitary troop of Arabs from the Woled 
D'leim do not appear to have come to Tombuctoo for 
the ordinary purposes of trade. Their only object 
seems to have been to ransom their imprisoned com- 
rades : and having this alone in view, they would 
naturally come as soon as they had ascertained the 
captivity of the latter and prepared the means of 
redeeming them ; without regarding the inconve- 
niences of travelling at an unusual season. Their ex- 
traordinary sufferings, and loss of lives, from heat 
and thirst in returning across the Desert, may be 
hence accounted for. 

This explanation moreover confirms, and is cor- 
roborated, by Adams's subsequent remark, in page 
62, that the Arabs of Woled D'leim (which was the 
home of his ransomers) to be of the same tribe as 
those of the douar whither he was first conveyed 
from the coast, and consequently, as those who were 
taken prisoners with him at Soudenny. 

Note 39, p. 57. 

This apparently unimportant passage affords, on 
examination, a strong presumption in favour of 

1 1 8 Joliba. — Negro Language. 

the truth and simplicity of this part of Adams's Nar- 

In the course of his examinations, almost every 
new inquirer eagerly questioned him respecting the 
Joliba; and he could not fail to observe, that, be- 
cause he had been at Tombuctoo, he was expected, 
as a matter of course, either to have seen, or at least 
frequently to have heard of, this celebrated river. 
Adams, however, fairly admits that he knows no- 
thing about it : and, notwithstanding the surprise of 
many of his examiners, he cannot be brought to ac- 
knowledge that he had heard the name even once 
mentioned at Tombuctoo. All that he does recol- 
lect is, that a river Joliba had been spoken of at 
Tudenny, where it was described as lying in the 
direction of Bambarra. 

Those who recollect Major Rennell's remarks re- 
specting the Niger, in his "Geographical Illustrations," 
will not be much surprised that Adams should 
not hear of the " Joliba" from the natives of Tom- 
buctoo. At that point of its course, the river is 
doubtless known by another name : and if the Joliba 
were spoken of at all, it would probably be accom- 
panied (as Adams states in the text) with some men- 
tion of Bambarra, which may be presumed to be the 
last country eastward in which the Niger retains its 
Mandingo name. 

Note 40, p. 57. 

Some of the words mentioned in this short speci- 
men of the Negro language are Arabick ; for in- 
stance, — killed, a dog ; feel, an elephant ; dar, a 
house : also the names which he has given for "date" 
and " fig" ; but the word carna, which he has prefix- 
ed to the latter, signifying " tree," is not Arabick. 
Whether Adams, in consequence of the short oppor- 

Taudeny. — Wolcd D^leim. 119 

tunity which he had of hearing the language of the 
Negroes, and his subsequent long residence amongst 
the Arabs, has confounded the two languages in the 
above instances; or whether there may not really 
be some mixture of the languages at Timbuctoo (as 
not unfrequently happens in the frontier places of 
adjoining countries,) I cannot pretend to determine. 

It is at least certain, that Adams did know some- 
thing of the Negro language, for I have frequently 
heard him hold conversations with the slaves at Mo- 
gadore ; especially with a young Negro who used 
to visit my house on purpose to see Adams, and (as 
he has himself told me) to converse with him about 
his own country, where, he has often assured me, 
Adams had been. D. 

Note 41, p. 60. 
Taudeny has been frequently described to me by 
traders in a manner which corresponds with Adams's 
account ; it being reported to have four wells of 
good water, and a number of date and fig trees : the 
inhabitants are represented as quite black, but 
without the Negro features. The salt pits consist 
of large beds of rock salt, in the manner that Adams 
describes, and of very considerable extent. Their 
produce is in much request at Timbuctoo, and in all 
Soudan, whither it is sent in large quantities ; the 
people of Taudeny receiving in return slaves and 
merchandise, which they again exchange with the 
Arabs of Woled D'leim, and Woled Aboussebah, for 
camels, horses, or tobacco ; so that I should imagine 
Taudeny to be a place of importance, and highly in- 
teresting. D. 

Note 42, p. 62. 
Woled DHeim is the douar of a tribe of Arabs- 
inhabiting the eastern parts of the Desert from the 


120 Woled DHeim.—El Kabku 

latitude of about twenty degrees north to the tropick. 
I have been informed by travellers who have visited 
these parts, that they are a tribe of great extent and 
power; that they inhabit detached fertile spots of 
land where they find water, and pasturage for their 
flocks, but do not at all practise agriculture. I have 
occasionally seen Arabs of this tribe during my resi- 
dence at Mogadore. They appear to be an extreme- 
ly fine race of men. Their complexion is very dark, 
almost as black as that of the Negroes ; but they 
have straight hair, which they wear in large quan- 
tities, aquiline noses, and large eyes. Their beha- 
viour was haughty and insolent: they spoke with 
fluency and energy, appeared to have great powers 
of rhetorick ; and I was told that many of them pos- 
sessed the talent of making extempore compositions 
in verse, on any object that attracted their notice. 
Their arms were javelins and swords. D. 

Note 43, p. 64. 

The circumstances of Adams's neglect of his em- 
ployment, and of the punishment which he received in 
consequence, appear to have made a strong impres- 
sion on him ; for he frequently mentioned them to 
me ; always adding, that he had firmly determined 
to persevere in his resistance, though it had cost him 
his life. £>. 

Note 44,;?. 66. 

Adams described the circumstances of his escape 
from the Woled DHeim to El Kabla^ precisely as they 
are here related : but he observed to me that, with 
respect to masters, he had scarcely bettered his con- 
dition ; and at all times he shewed an inveterate ani- 

El Kabla.—Aisha. 121 

mosity against any of the Arabs of the Desert whom 
he saw at Mogadore. 

El Kabla means the eastern Arabs, so distinguished 
from those of west Barbary and the coast. In the 
pronunciation of a Desert Arab, the name might 
sound very like El Gibla, or Hilla Gibla. 

These people inhabit large tracts of the Desert on 
the northern limits of the Woled D'leim. They are 
looked upon as a tribe of considerable importance, 
and are frequently employed by the traders in cross- 
ing the Desert, serving as guides or escorts as far 
as Taudeny. They have been represented to me 
as a haughty and ferocious race, yet scrupulously 
observant of the rites of hospitality. In persons they 
are said to resemble their Woled D'leim neighbours, 
being extremely dark, straight haired, and of the 
true Arabian feature. They are reported to be de- 
scendants from the race of Woled Aboussebah; from 
whom they probably separated themselves, in conse- 
quence of some of the disputes which frequently in- 
volve the Desert tribes in domestick wars. Their 
large flocks of sheep and goats supply them with 
outer raiment as well as food ; but the blue shirts of 
Soudan, are almost universally worn by them as un- 
der garments. ZX 

Note 45', p. 68. 

These details of Adams's amour with Aisha&re the 
same as he gave to me at Mogadore. Of the fact 
itself 1 can entertain no doubt, from the following 
circumstances : 

After the loss of the " Charles" it had been my 
constant practice, when traders went to the Desert, to 
commission them to make inquiries respecting the re- 
mainder of the crew, who were in the possession of the 
Arabs ; and, in particular, respecting those who had 


1 22 Aisha. — Woled Aboussebah. 

been reported to me to be carried eastward. On the 
return of one of these men from El Kabla, he told me 
that there was a Christian slave at that place, in pos- 
session of an Arab, who would doubtless be very glad 
to dispose of him, in consequence of the slave having 
been detected in an affair with his wife. He then 
briefly related to me the same story, in substance, as 
I afterwards heard from Adams. 

I also heard of it from a trader from Wed-Noon, 
who told me of Adams being there some time before I 
effected his ransom : I was informed at the same time, 
that this trait of his character and history was much 
talked of at Wed-Noon. D. 

Note 46, p. 68. 

Villa de Bousbach should be Woled Aboussebah ; 
Woled signifying sons or children, and being common- 
ly applied to all the tribes of Arabs. 

The Woled Aboussebah is a considerable tribe of 
Arabs distinct from the Woled D'leirn, inhabiting 
large tracts of the northern and western parts of the 
Desert. They report themselves to be descendants 
from the line of sheriffes, or race of the Prophet. 
Their country is described as a Desert interspersed 
with spots of fertile land, where they fix their douars, 
and pasture their flocks of goats, sheep, and camels. 
Their diet is occasionally the flesh of their flocks, 
but chiefly the milk of the niag, or female camel. 
They trade with their northern neighbours for dates 
and tobacco; being, immoderately fond of the latter 
for their own consumption in snuff and smoking, and 
employing it also in their trade with Soudan for 
slaves and blue cottons. 

As this tribe is reported to reach quite down 
to the seacoast, and to be spread over a very ex- 
tensive tract of country, there are various branches 

Woled Aboussebah. 123 

of it, who consider themselves wholly independent 
of each other, jet all calling themselves the " Woled 
" Aboussebah." Those who inhabit the seacoast 
are supplied with double barrelled guns, and various 
implements of iron, by trading vessels from the Ca- 
nary Islands, for which they give cattle in exchange. 
They are represented to be very expert in the 
management of their horses, and in the use of fire- 
arms, being excellent marksmen at the full speed of 
the horse, or of the Desert Camel (heirie.) They 
have frequent wars with their southern and eastern 
neighbours, though without any important results; 
the sterility of the soil, throughout the whole^of this 
region of sand, affording little temptation to its in- 
habitants to dispossess each other of their territorial 

The inhabitants of Wed-Noon are descended from 
this tribe, and owe their independence to its sup- 
port : for the Arabs of Aboussebah being most nu- 
merous on the northern confines of the Desert, pre- 
sent a barrier to the extension of the Emperour of 
Morocco's dominion in that direction. 

During the discords and civil wars which raged 
in Barbary previous to the present Emperour's tran- 
quil occupation of the throne of Morocco, a horde of 
these Arabs, amounting to about seven thousand 
armed men, seizing that opportunity of exchanging 
their barren Deserts for more fertile regions, over- 
ran the southern parts of the Empire. Mounted on 
horses and camels, and bearing their tents and fami- 
lies with them, they pursued their course, with little 
or no opposition, until they reached the provinces of 
Abda and Shiedma^ which lie between Saffy and 
Mogadore, where they were opposed by the Arabs 
of those provinces, united with a powerful tribe call- 
ed Woled-el-Haje, who inhabit a fertile country north 
of the river Tensift. The Woled Aboussebah were, 

1 24 Woled Abomsebah. — Seamen at Wed-Noon. 

however, victorious, and a dreadful slaughter of their 
enemies ensued ; who, after oeing driven down to 
the sea, were cut to pieces without mercy, neither 
women nor children escaping the massacre. The 
victors then took possession of the country, where 
they settled, and maintained themselves against all 
opposition; and they now form a part of the sub- 
jects of the Emperour of Morocco. D. 

Note 47, p. I'd. 

The mate and the seamen of the " Charles," whom 
Adams ^escribed to have found at Wed-Noon, were, 
to my knowledge, in that town a considerable time 
previous to his arrival. 

Some explanation may no* be out of place here, of 
the reasons why these men did not reach the Era- 
perour's dominions, at the period when the three of 
the Charles'S crew, whom I have before named, 
were ransomed. 

Upon the arrival of the Arab of Aboussebah 
(whom I have mentioned in Note 6) at Santa Cruz 
on his way to Mogadore, with Nicholas, Newsham, 
and Nelson, the Governour of that city and district 
wished to take possession of the Christians in order 
to send them to the Emperour: but the Arab re- 
fused to part with them, not considering himself a 
subject of the Emperour, or under the control of 
any of the rulers of Barbary ; and he accordingly 
escaped out of the city with his property by night ; 
but before he reached Mogadore he was overtaken 
by two soldiers whom the Governour had dispatch- 
ed after him, and who accompanied him and the 
Christians to me. 

The Arab then declared to me, that it never was 
his intention to take his slaves to the Emperour, 
that he had bought them in the Desert in the hopes 

Seamen at Wed-Noon. — BeLCossim-Mdallah. 125 

of making some profit by their ransom, and that, if 
he succeeded in this object, he would return, and en- 
deavour to bring the others up to Mogadore. Upon 
this, I bargained with him for the purchase of them ; 
but refusing to accept the highest sum which it was 
in my power to offer him, he left me, pretending 
that he had resolved to take his slaves to Fez, 
where the Emperour then was. Fearful of trusting 
the men again in his power, I objected to his taking 
them from under my protection, unless thoy were 
entrusted to the care of a Moorish soldier ; but 
the Governour of Mogadore refused to grant him 
a soldier for that purpose. Thus circumstanced, 
he was at length compelled to accept the proffered 

The dissatisfaction which the Arab felt at the 
result of his journey, and at the interference of the 
Governours of Santa Cruz and Mogadore, was, I 
fear, the cause why the rest of the Charles's crew 
were not subsequently brought up to be ransomed ; 
but it could not be helped. D. 

Note 48, p. 73. 

The sale of Adams at Wed-Noon to Bel-Cossim- 
Abdallah was mentioned to me by him at Moga- 
dore ; Adams observing that he had been bought 
by Bel-Cossim very cheap, the latter having paid 
no more for him than the value of seventy dollars 
in barter. 

This part of the Narrative was further confirmed 
by Bel-Cossim himself; who having arrived at 
Mogadore some time after Adams had been ransom- 
ed, called upon me, and requested permission to see 
him. Bel-Cossim then shewed a great regard for 
him, and told me that he had been unwilling to part 
with him, when he was ransomed. D. 

126 Montezuma.'— 'French Renegade. — Kanno. 

Note 49, p. 73. 

The following is ark extract of a letter from P. W. 
Brancker, Esq. of Liverpool, in reply to an inquiry 
into the truth of this part of Adams's story. 

" Liverpool, Nov. 28, 1815. 

" The American seaman is correct as to the loss 
" of a vessel from this port, but makes a small mis- 
" take in the name ; for it appears that the ship 
" Montezuma, belonging to Messrs. Theodore Kos- 
44 ter and Co., and bound from hence to the Brazils, 
"was wrecked on the 2d November, 1810, between 
" the Capes de Noon and Bajedore on the coast of 
" Barbary ; that the master and crew were made 
" prisoners by a party of Arabs, and that he (the 
" master) was taken off without the knowledge of the 
" persons in whose service he then was, and might 
" therefore be supposed to be murdered ; for being 
" left in charge of a drove of camels, he was found 
" by a party of the Emperour's cavalry and carried 
" off to Morocco, from whence he was sent to Gib- 
" r altar. 

" It is also said that the crew have obtained their 
" liberty, except one boy." 

Note 50, p. 74. 

I have often heard of this French renegade, and of 
his "manufacture of gunpowder ; he is said to have 
died about two years ago. D. 

Note 51, p. 74. 

It has already been stated (see Note 31) that 
many of tjie slaves purchased at Tombuctoo, and 
brought by the Arabs across the Desert, came 

Kanno. 127 

from countries even as far east of that city as Wan- 
gara ; it is therefore not unreasonable to suppose, 
that Kanno, mentioned in the text, may be the king- 
dom of Ghana, or Cano, which D'Anville places on 
the Niger, between the tenth and fifteenth degrees of 
eastern longitude. Assuming this to be the fact, the 
curious relation of the Negro slave at Wed-Noon 
might afford ground to conjecture, that Park had 
made further progress down the Niger than Amadi 
Fatouma's story seems to carry him ; further, we 
mean, than the frontier of Haoussa. 

In fact, the time which intervened between Park's 
departure from Sansanding, and his asserted death, 
would abundantly admit of his having reached a 
much more distant country even than Ghana: for ac- 
cording to Isaaco and Amadi Fatouma (see Park's 
Second Mission, 4to. p. 218,) he had been four months 
on his voyage down the Niger before he lost his life ; 
having never been on shore during all that time. 
This long period is evidently quite unnecessary for 
the completion of an uninterrupted voyage from San- 
sanding to the frontiers of Haoussa : for Park was 
informed by Amadi Fatouma himself, that the voyage 
even to Kashna (probably more than twice the dis- 
tance, according to Major Rennell's positions of 
these places,) did not require a longer period than 
two months for its performance.* 

* In quoting Major Rennell's authority for the distance between 
Haoussa and Kask?ia, the writer referred to the Map accompanying the 
first edition of the Geographical Illustrations of Park's First Mission. 
In a later edition of the Map the estimated distance between the two 
countries has been shortened. This, however, only furnishes an addi* 
tional instance of the varying statements of African authorities, with- 
out affecting the general scope of the observations in Note 51 ; since, 
whatever be the precise distance between the frontiers of Haoussa and 
those of Kashna, the general result of all the statements on the subject 
leaves no reason to doubt, that the latter lie considerably further to the 
eastward tfan the former, and consequently, in the same degree, more, 
remote from Sansanding. 

128 Kanno. 

The mention of Kashna reminds us of another 
remarkable circumstance in Amadi Fatouma's state- 
ments. In the instance just quoted, he appears to 
be inconsistent with himself; but in the passages to 
which we allude, we find him at issue with Park. 

In his last letter to Sir Joseph Banks, announcing 
the completion of his preparations, and written ap- 
parently only three days before he commenced his 
voyage from Sansanding, Park, speaking of Amadi 
Fatouma, says, u I have hired a guide to go with me 
"to Kashna ;" and again, in the same letter, " I mean 
"to write from Kashna by my guide." But Amadi 
Fatouma, in accounting for his separation from Park 
before the fatal catastrophe, tells quite another story. 
He asserts, that he was only engaged to go to Ha- 
oussa : and an apparently forced prominence is given 
to this assertion by his manner of making it. His 
words are these (p. 212 :) " Entered the country of 
" Haoussa, and came to an anchor. Mr. Park said to 
" me, ; Now, Amadi, you are at the end of your jour- 
" ; ney. / engaged you to conduct me here ; you are 
"'going to leave me.'" Almost the same words 
are repeated a few lines afterwards; with this differ- 
ence, however, that Amadi Fatouma now quotes the 
remark as his own. "1 said 1o him (Mr. Park) 1 
" have agreed to carry you to Haoussa ; we are now in 
" Haoussa. I have fulfilled my engagements with you ; 
" I am therefore going to leave you, and return." 

The reader will not need to be informed, that 
Amadi Fatouma's account goes on to state, that 
Park and his party lost their lives the day but one 
after he (Amadi) had thus parted from them ; and 
that they had previously thrown into the river " every 
" thing they had in the canoe ;" a proceeding for 
which no sufficient reason is afforded by the details 
in the Journal. 


Adams'* $ ill treatment. — Death of the Mate. 129 

We are quite disposed to make all due allowances 
for the evidence of an African, conveyed to us 
through an uncertain translation ; hut, we really 
think, that the discordances which we have quoted, 
(joined to other improbabilities in the Narrative) 
warrant a suspicion that, either with respect to the 
circumstances of Park's death, or to the appropria- 
tion of his effects, Amadi Fatouma had something to 
conceal. We are not, however, very confident that 
the further prosecution of this inquiry could lead to 
any satisfactory conclusion ; for whatever suspicion 
it might tend to throw on Amadi Fatouma's state- 
ment of the time, place, and circumstances of Park's 
lamented death, it could not, we fear, justify a rea- 
sonable doubt, at this distant period, of the actual oc- 
currence, in some mode or other, of the melancholy 
event itself. 

Note 52, p. 77. 

I heard from several other persons of the ill 
treatment which Adams received from Hameda-Bel- 
Cossim, his master's son; and the Moors who visited 
Wed-Noon corroborated the account of his unshaken 
resolution, and of the punishment which he suffered 
in consequence of it, having been put in irons and 
in prison. D. 

Note 53, p. 77. 

I have no reason to doubt the truth of the circum- 
stances here related by Adams respecting Stephen 
Dolbie, except as to the fact of his dying in conse- 
quence of a wound given by Brahim. Other accounts 
stated that he died at Wed-Noon of a fever only, the 
effects of a cold contracted by gathering in the harvest 
during heavy rain : and this, as far as I can recol- 


130 Christian Slaves. 

Ject, was the account which Adams gave me at Mo- 
gadore. I remember that he told me he had assisted 
at Dolbie's interment, and that he had afterwards 
covered the grave with stones. D. 

Mte 54, p. 78. 

I can easily believe Adams's statement of the bru- 
tal treatment he experienced at Wed-JVoon. It is 
consistent with the accounts I have always heard of 
the people of that country, who I believe to be more 
bigoted and cruel than even the remoter inhabitants 
of the Desert. The three men of the Charles's crew 
already mentioned, complained vehemently of the 
miseries they had suffered, though they had been but 
a comparatively short time in slavery ; and one of them 
shewed me a scar upon his breast, which he told me 
was the mark of a wound given him by one of the 

In the frequent instances which have come under 
my observation, the general effect of the treatment of 
the Arabs on the minds of the Christian captives, has 
been most deplorable. On the first arrival of these 
unfortunate men at Mogadore, if they have been 
any considerable time in slavery, they appear lost 
to reason and feeling, their spirits broken, and 
their faculties sunk in a species of stupor which 1 
am unable adequately to describe. Habited like 
the meanest Arabs of the Desert, they appear de- 
graded even below the Negro slave. The succes- 
sion of hardships which they endure from the caprice 
and tyranny of their purchasers, without any protect- 
ing law to which they can appeal for alleviation or 
redress, seems to destroy every spring of exertion 
or hope in their minds ; they appear indifferent to 
every thing around them, — abject, servile, and bruti- 

Christian Slaves, 131 

Adams alone was, in some respects, an exception 
from this description. I do not recollect any ran- 
somed Christian slave who discovered a greater 
elasticity of spirit, or who sooner recovered from 
the indifference and stupor here described. 

it is to be remarked, that the Christian captives 
are invariably worse treated than the idolatrous or 
Pagan slaves whom the Arabs, either by theft or 
purchase, brinagj^rom the interiour of Africa; and 
that religious Ij^Bry is the chief cause of this dis- 
tinction. The zealous disciples of Mohammed con- 
sider the Negroes merely as ignorant unconverted 
beings, upon whom, *by the act of enslaving them, 
they are conferring a benefit, by placing them with- 
in reach of instruction in the " true beliet ;" and 
the Negroes having no hopes of ransom, and being 
often enslaved when childien, are in general, soon 
converted to the Mohammedan faith. The Chris- 
tians, on the contrary, are looked upon as hardened 
infidels, and as deliberate despisers of the Prophet's 
call ; and as they in general stedfastly reject the 
Mohammedan creed, and at least never embrace it 
whilst they have hopes of ransom, the Mooslim, 
consistently with the spirit of many passages in the 
Koran, views them with the bitterest hatred, and 
treats them with every insult and cruelty which a 
merciless bigotry can suggest. 

It is not to be understood, however, that the 
Christian slaves, though generally ill treated and in- 
humanly worked by their Arab owners, are persecut- 
ed by them ostensibly on account of their religion. 
They, on the contrary, often encourage the Chris- 
tians to resist the importunities of those who wish 
to convert them : for, by embracing Jslamism the 
Christian slave obtains his freedom ; and however ar- 
dent may be the zeal of the Arab to make proselytes, 


132 Christian Slaves, 

it seldom blinds him to the calculations of self in- 

A curious instance of the struggle thus excited 
between Mohammedan zeal and worldly interest, 
was related to me to have occurred at Wed-Noon, 
in the case of a boy belonging to an English ves- 
sel, which had been wrecked on the neighbouring 
coast a short time previous to the " Charles." 

This boy had been persuaded to embrace the Mo- 
hammedan faith; but after a littte while, repenting 
of what he had done, he publicly declared that he 
had renounced the doctrines of the Koran, and was 
again a Christian. To punish so atrocious an out- 
rage, the Arabs of Wed-Noon resolved to burn him; 
and they would no doubt have punctually performed 
the ceremony, but for the interference of the man 
from whose service the boy had emancipated him- 
self by his first conversion. This man contended, 
that by abjuring the Mohammedan faith, the boy 
had returned into his former condition of slavery, 
and was again his property; and in spite of the 
most opprobrious epithets which were heaped upon 
him (including even the term u infidel," the horrour 
and abomination of all true Mooselmin) the man 
insisted that if they would burn the boy, they should 
first reimburse him for the value of a slave. Re- 
luctant to lose their sacrifice, the Arabs now at- 
tempted to raise money by subscription to purchase 
the boy ; and contributions were begged about the 
town to burn the Christian. But in the end, as they 
made slow progress towards obtaining by these 
means a sufficient sum to purchase the boy, they re- 
linquished their project; the owner, however was 
shortly afterwards obliged to remove his slave to 
another part of the country, to secure him from pri- 
vate assassination. D. 

Davison and Williams escape from Wed-Noon. 133 

Note 56, p. 78. 

Adams describes correctly the tenour of my Let- 
ter addressed to the survivors of the crew of the 
"Charles" at .Wed-Noon. His account, also of the 
behaviour of Williams, is confirmed by the testimo- 
ny of the man whom I employed to purchase Adams, 
who was a Moor, — and not, as Adams supposes, an 
European in disguise. He informed me, that he 
found that Adams's two companions had embraced 
the Mohammedan faith; but that the younger, in 
particular, interested him s» deeply by his tears, and 
by his earnest supplications that he would take him 
to Mogadore, that he could not himself refrain from 
tears ; and was half inclined to steal him away let 
the consequence be what it would. He also assur- 
ed me that he gave him some money at parting, and 
a few rags for clothing. 

Just previous to my quitting Mogadore in Octo- 
ber, 1814, these two men contrived to make their 
escape, as Mohammedans, from Wed-Noon, and 
reaching Mogadore in safety, they staid there only 
a few hours and then departed for Tangier. I 
learnt shortly afterwards that upon their arrival at 
the latter city, they claimed the protection of their 
respective Consuls there, (one of the men being an 
Englishman and the other an American) disclaim- 
ing the Mohammedan faith ; but it was not without 
much difficulty and negotiation, during which time 
the men were placed in confinement, that they 
were ultimately liberated and restored to the Chris- 
tian world. D. 

Note 56, p. 79. 

I was informed by the man who brought Adams 
to Mogadore, that he had passed through the coun- 
try called Bled-Cidi'Heshem* on his return ; having 

1 34 Bled-Cidi-Heshem. 

gone for the purpose of purchasing another of the 
Charles's crew, {Martin Clark, a black man,) who 
was in slavery there, in which he could not then suc- 

The country is just on the southern confines of 
the Emperour's dominions. It is a small independ- 
ent state of Shilluh, and (as described by Adams) 
lies in lower Suse. The Chief here mentioned, 
the Cid Heshem, who has successfully resisted the 
endeavours of his neighbours to subvert his go- 
vernment, is the descenctant of Cidi Harriet a Mous- 
5«, a reputed modern Saint, who during his life was 
highly venerated for his justice and piety, and whose 
tomb, since his death, has been resorted to by 
religious Mooselmin from many parts of South 
Barbary and the Desert. This chief has lately open- 
ed an extensive trade with Soudan, for gums, cot- 
tons, and ostrich feathers, ivory, gold dust, and 
slaves, which are sold by his agents at the great 
annual market of Harriet a Moussa, The traders 
from Southern Barbary resort to this market in 
great numbers ; and I have heard it asserted, that 
they can there purchase, for money, the produce 
of Soudan, to more advantage than they can them- 
selves import it, without taking into account the 
risks and fatigues of the journey ; insomuch, that 
but for the important object of disposing of their 
own commodities in barter, in the douars of the 
Desert and the markets of Soudan, I apprehend 
that very few of the native traders of Barbary 
would continue to cross the Desert. 

It appears by the account which Adams subse- 
quently gives of this market, that he must have 
been there; and the time of his journey corres- 
ponds with the season when it is held : but I think 
he must have committed an errour, in placing it more 
than a day's journey from the residence of the Cid 


Confirmation of Adams's Statement. 1 35 

Heshem ; as the sanctuary and market of Cidi Ha- 
met a Moussa are within the small territory of this 
Chief, who himself presides during the market days, 
to preserve order and tranquillity. 

The inhabitants of this district, as I have stated 
before, are Shilluh ; who are a distinct race from the 
Arabs, and ha\e different dress, customs, and lan- 
guage. They live in houses built of stone, which 
are generally situated on eminences and fortified, 
for security in their domestick wars. They are 
possessed of a fertile country, producing abundance 
of barley and some wheat. The fruits and vege- 
tables common in South Barbary are also grown 
here. Their sheep and goats are of the finest 
breed, and are frequently brought to Mogadore 
as presents: and their camels are much esteemed 
for their patience and great power of enduring fa- 
tigue.* D. 

Note 57, p. 81. 

I did frequently interrogate Adams, when at Moga- 
dore, respecting his travels in Africa ; and frequent- 
ly sent for persons ivho had been at the places he 
described, in order to confront their accounts with 
his, and especially to ascertain the probability of his 
having been at Timbuctoo. Amongst these indi- 
viduals was a Shieck of Wed-Noon, a man of great 
consideration in that country, who had been seve- 
ral times at Timbuctoo in company with trading 
parties; and who, after questioning Adams very 
closely respecting that city and its neighbourhood, 
assured me that he had no doubt that he had been 
there Another Moorish trader who was in the 
habit of frequenting Timbuctoo gave me the same ac- 

* For a more detailed description of the ShiUuh, see the Appendix, 
No. II. 

1 36 Fez. — Tangier. — Reckonings. 

count. In short, it was their universal opinion that 
he must have been at the places he described, and 
that his account could not be a fabrication. D. 

Note 58, p. 82. 

I did, about the time stated by Adams, send him to 
Fez to the Emperour, under the protection of one sol- 
dier and a muleteer. D. 

Note 59, p. 82. 

Having visited Tangier myself a few months af- 
terwards, I there learnt from Mr. Simpson, that he 
had sent Adams to Cadiz a few days after his 
arrival. D. 

Note 60, p. 83. 

Upon a minute examination of Adams's Narrative, 
a considerable difference will be found to exist be- 
tween his collective estimates of the time he remain- 
ed in Africa, and the actual interval between the 
dates of his shipwreck and return; the aggregate of 
the former amounting to about four years and three 
months, whilst the real time doe* not appear to have 
exceeded three years and seven months. It is not dif- 
ficult to conceive, that the tedium of so long a period 
of slavery and wretchedness would easily betray 
Adams into an errour of this nature ; especially in a 
situation where he possessed no means of keeping a 
minute account of the lapse of time ; and it is reason- 
able to presume, that when he speaks of having re- 
sided six mouths at one place, eight at another, and 
ten at a third, he has, in each of these estimates, 
somewhat overrated the real duration of these te- 
dious and wretched portions of his existence. 

When this discrepancy in his statements was point- 
ed out to him, and he was led to reconsider in what 
part of his Narrative the errour lay, it did not ap- 

Reckonings of Time and Distance. 137 

pear to change his persuasion of the accuracy of any- 
detached portion of his estimates. He did however 
express his peculiar conviction that he was at least 
accurate in the number of days occupied in his jour- 
neys from place to place. On this occasion, as on 
many others in the course of his numerous examina- 
tions, it was impossible not to derive from the indis- 
position which he evinced to conform to the opinion 
of others, upon points on which he had once given an 
opposite deliberate opinion of his own, a strong im- 
pression of his general veracity and sincerity. 

It was at Wed-Noon that the first opportunity oc- 
curred to him after his shipwreck, of correcting his 
reckoning of time ; his arrival at which place, (as he 
was informed by the French renegade whom he 
found there) having occurred about the middle of 
August, 1812, or about eight months earlier than his 
own computation would have made it. Assuming 
therefore the Frenchman's account to have been 
correct, and deducting Adams's excess of time in 
relative proportions from his stationary periods at 
Tombuctoo, Woled D'leim, and other places, the 
following will be the probable dates of the several 
stages of his travels : — 

1810, October 1 1. — Shipwrecked at El Gazie. 
December 13. — Set out on the expedition 

to Soudenny. 

1811, February 5. — Arrived at Tombuctoo. 
June 9. — Departed from Ditto.* 
August 11. — Arrived at Woled D'leim. 

1812, March 7. — Departed from Ditto. 

June 20. — Departed from El Kabla. 
August 23. — Arrived at Wed-Noon. 

* He says they had a few drops af rain before his departure, which 
in some degree confirms the accuracy of this date ; since the tropical 
rains in the latitude of Tombuctoo, may be supposed to commence 
early in June. 


138 Reckonings of Time and Distance. 

1813, September 23. — Departed from Wed-Noon. 
October 6. — Arrived at Mogadore. 

1814, April 22.— Departed from Ditto. 
May 17. — Arrived at Cadiz. 

To this statement with respect to time, we may add 
the following summary of the distances of his respective 
journeys, collected from the Narrative at his highest 


From El Gasie to the Douar 
in the Desert ■»■• - - - 
On the Journey to Soudenny 
Ditto Ditto - - - - 
To the Village where the 
Moors were put to death - 
To Tombuctoo 

Distance in British Miles from 
the Coast to Tombuctoo - 

To the point of departure from 
La Mar Zarah - - - - 

— Taudeny ------ 

— the border of the Sandy 
Desert ------- 

In the Sandy Desert - - - 


From the edge of the Sandy 

Desert to Woled D'leim - 

To El Kabla 

— Woled Abousseb&h - - - 

— Woled Adrialla - - - - 

— Aiata Mouessa Alt - - - 

— Wed-Noon - - - - - 

— Akkadia ------ 

— Bled Cidi Heshem - - - 

— Agadeer or Santa Cruz - 

— Suerra or Mogadore - < 

Distance in British Miles from 
Tombuctoo to Mogadore 














6. S. E. 

S. S. E. \ S 


E. by N. 

E. N. E. 


N. W. 

N. by W. 

N. E. 

N. N. W. 

N. W. 


N. E. 

N. by W. 


Rate in 


















Reckonings of Time and Distance. 139 

These distances, as well as the courses of his jour- 
neys, will be found accurately represented by the 
ruled line in the Map: and it is impossible to observe 
how nearly they approach to what may be presum- 
ed to be the truth, without being astonished at 
Adams's memory, and at the precision with which he 
estimated his course with no other compass than the 
rising and setting of a vertical sun. 


We shall close our remarks on Adams's Narrative 
with a brief review, of the extent to which it has 
hitherto been confirmed, and of the credibility of 
those parts of it which still rest on his own unsupport- 
ed testimony. The first part of this examination 
may be disposed of in a very few words. 

The preceding notes will be found to contain an 
uninterrupted chain of evidence by which his course 
may be traced backwards from London, through 
Cadiz, Tangier, Mequinez, Fez, Mogadore, and 
Wed-Noon, to the Douar of El Kabla in the depths 
of the Desert His adventure with Aisha at El Ka- 
bla — the fame of which preceded him to Mogadore, 
and adhered to him during his residence at Wed- 
Noon — sufficiently establishes the identity of the in- 
dividual whom Mr. Dupuis received from the Desert. 
From Mogadore, he is delivered into the hands of 
the American Consul at Tangier, who, in his turn, 
transmits him to Cadiz, where he is traced into the 
service of Mr. Hall. The Cadiz gentleman who 
first discovered him in the streets of London, sup- 
plies the last link to this chain of identity ; and com- 
pletes the proof (strengthened by other circumstan- 
ces) that the gallant of Aisha at El Kabla, and the 
Tombuctoo traveller in London, whether known by 
the name of Adams, or Rose, is one and the same 

Passing now to the earlier part of his adventures, 
we find the time and circumstances of his shipwreck, 


and his conveyance eastward into the Desert, con- 
firmed by three of the Charles's crew who were 
first ransomed ; whilst, on the other hand, the fact of 
the individual in question being actually one of the 
seamen of the Charles, is fully established by the 
testimony of Davison and Williams, his comrades at 
Wed-Noon, who may be said to have delivered him, 
as such, into the hands of Mr. Dupuis' agent, — and 
who confirmed the fact upon their subsequent arri- 
val at Mogadore.* 

Thus far Adams's story is supported and confirm- 
ed by direct external evidence. We have seen it 
accompany him far into the Desert; and there find 
him again, at a greater distance from the coast than 
any other Christian, we believe, has ever been trac- 
ed in these inhospitable regions. But between these 
two points of his advance and return, a wide inter- 

* It ought to be mentioned in this place, because it affords an ad- 
ditional proof of Adams's accuracy on such points as he ought to be 
well acquainted with, that ten of the eleven individuals composing the 
crew of the Charles at the time of her wreck, were either ransomed by 
Mr. Dupuis, or accounted for to him through other channels than 
Adams, by the same names, (his own excepted) which the latter has 
given in the first page of this Narrative. The following is Mr. Dupuis' 
memorandum on the subject : — 

Horton, Capt , died immediately after the wreck. 

Nicholas, seaman. 

Newsham, ditto, ) R ansomec | three months after the wreck. 

Nelson, ditto, $ 

Dolbie, mate, died at Wed-Noon in 1813. 

Rose, (alias Adams) ransomed ditto, 

Clark, black seaman, ditto, - 1814. 

Davison, seaman, l R ades at Wed-Noon, but liberated in 1814. 

W llhams, boy, $ ° 

Matthews, an old man, reported to have died in the Desert. 

Recapitulation, 7 liberated, 
3 dead, 
1 unaccounted for. 

11 Total number stated by Adams : of whom Stephens 
alone, (whom he says he left at Woled D'leim,) was never heard of by 
Mr. Dupuis. 


val occurs, during which we entirely lose sight of 
him : and we must therefore be content to receive 
this part of his story on his own credit alone, illus- 
trated by such indirect corroborations as we may be 
enabled to glean from other sources. 

This unsupported part of Adams's story extends, 
it will be seen, from the Douar to which he was first 
conveyed from the coast, until his arrival at El Ka- 
bla ; occupying a period of fifteen or sixteen months, 
— a period which the Narrative fills up with the ex- 
pedition to Soudenny, — the journey to, and residence 
at, Tombuctoo, — and the return through Taudeny 
across the Desert to Woled D'leim and El Kabla. 
We do not deem in necessary to extend our examina- 
tion to the whole of these journeys, because if we 
shall be fortunate enough to satisfy the reader that 
Adams is entitled to credit as far as Tombuctoo, we 
conceive that no doubt can be raised respecting his 
journey from thence to El Kabla. 

We have already entered so fully into the question 
of the probability of the expedition to Soudenny, in 
Note 7, p. 89, that the reader would hardly excuse 
us for repeating in this place the arguments which 
were there adduced in support of it. We shall 
therefore confine our remarks to the journey from 
thence to Tombuctoo. 

But before we enter upon this examination, we are 
anxious to caution our readers against suspecting us 
of setting up any pretensions to minute accuracy, 
either in the situation which we have assigned to 
Soudenny in the Note in question, or in any positions 
of places in the map adjusted from data necessarily 
so vague as those afforded by Adams : neither must 
it be forgotten on the other hand, that the precise 
situations of the places which we have used as the 
standards of his accuracy, are rather assumed than 
proved. There may be errours in both cases : and 


in the latter, it is at least as probable that such errours 
may contribute to increase the apparent inaccuracy 
of Adams's positions, as that they lend to those posi- 
tions any undue degree of probability. Without, 
therefore, pretending to determine whether the Ne- 
gro dominion does actually reach to the 16th degree 
of north latitude under the assumed meridian of Sou- 
denny, (that the Negro population extends so far we 
presume no one will doubt) or whether Adams's 
real course lay further to the south than his Narrative 
warrants us in placing it, we must at least contend 
that the approximation of Adams's evidence on this 
part of his journey, to the best standards by which it 
can be tried, is astonishingly near ; — so near, indeed, 
that if we had not been assured, upon the undoubted 
authority of Mr. Dupuis, that the first account of his 
courses and distances which he gave them fresh from 
the Desert, afforded, with respect to Tombuctoo, the 
same results as those which we are now remarking, we 
should have been rather tempted to suspect that this 
degree of coincidence was the result of contrivance, 
than to have derived from the degree of his discord- 
ance with other authorities any doubts of the reality 
of his journeys. Those who are most conversant 
with questions of this nature will best appreciate the 
extreme difficulty w 7 hich an unscientifick individual 
must find in even approaching to the truth in his 
computations of the direction and extent of a long 
succession of journeys : even the evidence of so prac- 
tised an observer as Park was not sufficiently precise, 
to secure the eminent compiler of the Map of hiv 
first Journey from very considerable inaccuracies. 
which Park on his second mission, by the aid 
of his instruments of observation, was enabled to 

On the whole, since the circumstances stated by 
Mr. Dupuis entirely preclude all suspicion of con- 


trivance in Adams's account of his route in Africa* 
(a contrivance which he was too ignorant to invent 
himself and in which, when he arrived from the 
Desert, he had had no opportunity of being instruct- 
ed by others) we do not conceive how it is possible 
to resist the circumstantial corroboration of his story 
which the application of his route to the Map affords ; 
unless, indeed, by resorting to the preposterous 
supposition that so uniform an approach to the truth, 
throughout a journey of nearly three thousand miles, 
could be purely accidental. But to return to the 
particular question before us. 

In addition to the grounds already adduced for 
placing Soudenny within the Bambarran territories, 
Adams may fairly claim the advantage of another 
circumstance mentioned by Park; we mean the fluc- 
tuating state of the line of boundary itself Considera- 
ble changes in that respect had occurred within a 
few months of the period when Park crossed the 
frontier in question : — -the seeds of further changes 
were perceptible, both in the restless and marauding 
disposition of the Moors, and in the preponderating 
strength of the King of Bambarra : and it would by 
no means follow (if the question were really of im- 
portance to Adams's story) that the northern fron- 
tiers of the state must, in 181 1, be the same as they 
were supposed to be in 1796.* 

Placing Soudenny, therefore, wi f hin the frontiers 
of Bambarra, in the sixteenth or possibly the fif- 
teenth degree of north latitude, and about the fifth 
or sixth of west longitude, we shall find Adams's 

* In one direction at least, (to the west) the King of Bambarra's 
frontiers appear to have been much extended in 1810; for, according 
to isaaco's Journal, 4to. p. 11)4, they cannot be placed more than three 
or four short days' journey from Giocha [Joko) ; although according to 
Park's first map, the distance from Joko to the nearest frontiers of 
Bambarra is at least ten days' journey. There had been a war in 
1801, in these parts ; being the second war in six years. 


account of his course and distance from thence to 
Tombuctoo, approach with extraordinary accuracy 
to the line of journey required. We possess too lit- 
tle knowledge of the countries through which this 
route would lie, to pronounce with any confidence 
upon the probability of the circumstances of his jour- 
ney. What we can at present know upon the sub- 
ject must be learnt from Park ; — who informs us, that 
to the eastward of Bambarra, between that kingdom 
and Tombuctoo, lies the Foulah kingdom of Masina. 
It is not known to what latitude the north frontiers 
of the latter kingdom extend ; but we are told that 
it is bounded on that side by the Moorish kingdom of 
Beeroo ; and there is great reason to suppose, with 
Major Rennell,* that the Moorish population which 
to the westward touches the Senegal, does from that 
point incline in an oblique line to the northward of 
east, as it advances from the west along the limits of 
Soudan. Admitting this retrocession of the Moors 
towards the Desert, the Negroes of Soudenny would 
find a secure route, through Negro countries, along 
the extreme frontierst of Bambarra and Masina to 
the borders of Tombuctoo, generally in the direction 
described by Adams. 

Why the Negroes, if they were actually Bambar- 
rans, should convey their prisoners to Tombuctoo 
rather than to Sego, may not perhaps be quite so 
apparent as some of Adams's readers may require : 
but it would be pushing the caution of incredulity to 
an unreasonable extreme to disbelieve the asserted 

* See Park's First Mission, Appendix, 4to. p. Ixxxix. 

f Adams states his rout to have lain through barren and uninhabit- 
ed districts ; and Park, speaking of Soudan generally, says, first Mission, 
4to. p. 261, "the borders of the different kingdoms were either very 
thinly peopled, or entirely deserted." See also his Account of the 
country, east of Benown, near the frontiers of Bambarra, p. 116, — •« a 
sandy country" — p. 121, » a hot sandy country covered with small 
stunted shrubs." 



fact on that account alone. Desirous as we may be f 
supposed to be, to obviate the doubts of the most 
skeptical, we can hardly venture to suggest any mo- 
tives for this journey which are not supplied by the 
Narrative itself, or by some collateral testimony. Yet, 
we will hazard this brief remark, that if it were the 
object of the Negroes to place their prisoners in a 
situation where they would be at once secure from 
rescue, yet accessible to the interference of their fel- 
lows for the purpose of ransom, (for it must be re- 
membered that the imprisoned Arabs did not belong 
to a neighbouring state, but were a troop of maraud- 
ers from a distant tribe of the Desert) we can hard- 
ly conceive a more probable course than that of con- 
veying them to Tombuctoo. 

We are aware that it may be objected to these re- 
marks that they take for granted, that Tombuctoo 
is a Negro state, and at least in amity with, if not a 
dependency of, the King of Bambarra ; and we shall 
probably be told that Tombuctoo is under the do- 
minion of the Moors, and that Adams's account of it 
must consequently be untrue. 

In reply to such an objection we would by no 
means deny that Adams's entire liberation of Tombuc- 
too from the tyranny of the Moors or Arabs, does 
present a difficulty, — especially with reference to 
Park's information on the same subject. But let us 
fairly examine how the question stands with respect 
to Adams's testimony on the one hand, and the evi- 
dence to which it is opposed on the other. 

In Adams we find an individual relating travels 
and adventures, which are indeed singular and ex- 
traordinary, but are told with the utmost simplicity 
and bear strong internal marks of truth. Placed in 
a wide and untravelled region, where a mere narra- 
tor of fables might easily persuade himself that no 
one would trace or detect him, we find Adams re- 


sis ting the temptation (no slight one for an ignorant 
sailor) of exciting the wonder of the credulous, or 
the sympathy of the compassionate, by filling his 
story with miraculous adventures, or overcharg- 
ed pictures of suffering. In speaking of himself he 
assumes no undue degree of importance. He is 
rather subordinate to the circumstances of the story, 
than himself the prominent feature of it; and almost 
every part of his Narrative is strictly in nature, and 

Unexpectedly to this individual, and in his ab- 
sence, an opportunity occurs of putting his veracity 
and his memory to the test, on many of the impor- 
tant points of his story : and the result of the ex- 
periment is, that all the facts, to which the test will 
reach, are, in substance, confirmed, — that none are 
disproved. Again, we are enabled by the same op- 
portunity to try his consistency with himself at .dif- 
ferent periods : and we find him, after an interval of 
more than two years, adhering in every material 
point to the story which he told on arriving from the 

But a difficulty arises in the course of his Narra- 
tive : he states a fact which his hearers did not ex- 
pect, and respecting which they had previously re- 
ceived evidence of a contrary tendency. Neverthe- 
less this unexpected fact contains nothing marvellous 
id itself, nothing even extraordinary ; nothing which 
can be conceived to afford the slightest temptation to 
such an individual to invent it : but it occurs simply, 
and in some measure even indirectly, in the chain of 
his evidence. 

If this is admitted to be a fair statement of the cir- 
cumstances under which Adams informs us that 
Tombuctoo is a Negro state : and if there is nothing 
suspicious in the internal character of this part of his 
evidence, we are not at liberty lightly to disbelieve 


it, because we think it improbable, "or because it 
happens to want those collateral proofs by which 
other parts of his story have accidentally been con- 
firmed : but, a manifest preponderance of unexcep- 
tionable evidence to the contrary can alone justify 
us in rejecting it. 

For this evidence we must again have recourse to 
Park's first Travels (for the Journal of his Second 
Mission contains only one incidental notice on the 
subject) and we shall therein find a general descrip- 
tion of Tombuctoo as a Moorish state, which he pre- 
faces in these words (p. 213.) 

" Having thus brought my mind, after much doubt 
" and perplexity, to a determination to return west- 
" ward, I thought it incumbent on me, before I left 
" Silla^ to collect from the Moorish and Negro tra- 
" ders, all the information I could, concerning the 
" further course of the Niger eastward, and the situ- 
ation and extent of the kingdoms in its vicinage;" 
— and the following account of Tombuctoo is part 
of the information which he says he thus collected 
at Silla (p. 215.) 

" To the northeast of Masina is situated the king- 
" dom of Tombuctoo, the great object of European 
" research ; the capital of this kingdom being one 
" of the principal marts for that extensive commerce 
" which the Moors carry on with the Negroes. 
"The hopes of acquiring wealth in this pursuit, and 
" zeal for propagating their religion, have filled this 
" extensive city with Moors and Mahomedan con- 
" verts ; and they are said to be more severe and 
" intolerant in their principles than any other of the 
" Moorish tribes in this part of Africa. I was in- 
" formed by a venerable old Negro, that when he 
" first visited Tombuctoo, he took up his lodging at a 
" sort of publick inn, the landlord of which, when he 
ss conducted him into his hut, spread a mat upon the 


" floor, and laid a rope upon it, saying, ; if you are a 
" 'Mussulman you are my friend, — sit down; but if 
" ' you are a Kafir you are my slave ; and with this 
u « rope I will lead you to market.' The present 
"King of Tombuctoo is named Abu Abrahima ; he 
" is reported to possess immense riches. His wives 
"and concubines are said to be clothed in silk, and 
" the chief officers of state live in considerable splen- 
" dour. The whole expense of his government is 
" defrayed, as I was told, by a tax upon merchan- 
" dise, which is collected at the gates of the city." 

To this account Major Rennell adds (doubtless 
on the verbal authority of Park,) that the greatest 
proportion of the inhabitants were, nevertheless, Ne- 
groes. (Appendix, p. xc.) 

We are now to examine under what circumstances 
the information contained in this description was 
procured. Of his arrival and residence at Silla, 
Park gives us very minute details. His journey 
thither from Sego had been hurried, and his situa- 
tion extremely distressing during its whole course : 
until, on the 29th July, at four o'clock in the after- 
noon, he arrived at Moorzan, a fishing town on the 
northern bank of the Niger, " from whence," he says, 
" I was conveyed across the river to Silla, a large 
" town, where I remained until it was quite dark 
" under a tree surrounded by hundreds of people. 
" Their language was very different from [that of] 
" the other parts of Bambarra. With a great deal 
" of entreaty the Dooty allowed me to come into his 
" balloon to avoid the rain ; but the place was very 
" damp, and I had a smart paroxysm of fever during 
" the night. Worn down by sickness and exhausted 
" with hunger and fatigue, I was convinced, by pain- 
" ful experience, that the obstacles to my further 
H progress were insurmountable." Happily for him- 
self, and for that science whose limits his return was 


so widely to extend, — this determination was no 
sooner adopted than executed ; and at eight o'clock 
the next morning he stepped into a canoe, and com- 
menced his painful return to the westward ; having 
only spent at Siila one wretched night in sickness 
and despondency. 

It is impossible for any of our readers to view the 
unquenchable zeal and intrepidity of Park with 
higher admiration than we do ; and merely to express 
our belief that before he thus resolved to return he 
" had made," as he states, " every effort to proceed 
" which prudence could justify," would be to render, 
in our opinion, very imperfect justice to his unparal- 
leled ardour of enterprise and enduring preseverance. 
Joining to these higher qualifications, admirable pru- 
dence in his intercourse with the natives, and a tem- 
per not to be ruffled by the most trying provocations, 
he exhibited on his first journey an union of qualities 
often thought incompatible ; an union which in our 
days we fear we cannot expect to see again, direct- 
ed to the same pursuits. We will further add, that 
to our feelings scarcely an individual of the age can 
be named, who has sunk under circumstances of 
deeper interest than this lamented traveller: wheth- 
er we consider the loss which geographical science 
has suffered in his death, or whether we confine our 
views to the blasted hopes of the individual, snatch- 
ed away from his hard-earned, but unfinished, 
triumph ; and leaving to others that splendid con- 
summation which he so ardently sought to achieve. 
True it is, that the future discoverer of the termina- 
tion of the Niger must erect the structure of his 
fame on the wide foundation with which his great 
predecessor has already occupied the ground : but 
though the edifice will owe its very existence to the 
labours of Park, yet another name than his will be 
recorded on the finished pile : 


*;* Hos ego — feci, tulit alter honores." 

Feeling, as we do, this unaffected interest in the 
fate and fame of Park, it is hardly necessary to pre- 
face our further remarks with the declaration, that 
there is not a tittle of the evidence given upon the 
authority of his own observation, which we should 
not feel it a species of sacrilege to dispute. But 
the case is different with respect to those details 
which he gives on hearsay evidence only, — which 
we may fairly, and which we ought, to try by the 
circumstances by which Park himself enables us to 
estimate their pretensions to accuracy. 

Availing ourselves of this undeniable, and as we 
hope, not invidious, privilege, we shall find that a 
situation can hardly be imagined less favourable to 
the acquisition of authentick information, than that 
which Park describes during the single melancholy 
night which he passed at Silla. He had before told us 
(p. 181,) that he was not well acquainted with the 
Foulah language spoken in Bambarra ; and he in- 
forms us that he found the language of Silla " very 
" different" even from that of the more western 
parts of the kingdom : but the extent of his diffi- 
culty in that respect may be gathered from what 
he relates of his arrival even at Sansanding, where 
he found the people " speaking a variety of different 
• ; dialects, all equally unintelligible" to him, and 
where he was obliged to have recourse to the in- 
terpretation of his Sego guide ; who, however, did 
not accompany him in his further progress to Silla. 

Obtaining therefore, his information from Negroes 
at more than two hundred miles distance from Tom- 
buctoo, and probably through the medium of Ne- 
gro interpreters, we cannot be surprised either that 
it should not be accurate in itself, or that, such as 
it was, it should not be very accurately understood. 


We believe there is no person, who can speak from 
his own experience on the subject, who will not 
bear testimony to the extreme uncertainty, not to 
say general inaccuracy, of the information to be ob- 
tained from the natives of Africa, whether Moham- 
medans or Pagans. Jealousy and suspicion of the 
objects of such inquiries on the one hand, and un- 
observing ignorance on the other, render both Ne- 
gro and Moor alike unwilling, or unable, to disclose 
the secrets of the interiour to any European. The 
whole of Park's communications leave not the small- 
est doubt respecting the temper of the trading 
Moors towards him. He also remarks, page 214, 
how little information is to be expected from a Ne- 
gro trader of the countries through which he pass- 
es in search of gain, — of which he affords us the 
following striking instance in the commencement of 
his Journey. " I was referred," he says, p. 8, " to 
" certain traders called Slatees. These were free 
" black merchants of great consideration in those 
" parts of Africa, who come down from the interi- 
" our countries. But I soon discovered that very 
" little dependence could be placed on the accounts 
u which they gave : for they contradicted each other in 
"the most important particulars." To what degree 
the natives of Silla would have contradicted each 
other in their accounts of Tombuctoo, Park's short 
stay there could not have allowed him time to ascer- 
tain ; even if his knowledge of their language had 
enabled him to understand their accounts as well as 
he did those of the Slatees on the Gambia. 

This appears to be the state of the evidence 
which places the government of Tombuctoo in the 
hands of the Moors : and it really does appear 
to us, that it is at least neutralized by other evi- 
dence which may fairly be opposed to it ; we mean, 
the uniform testimony of the natives of Barbary, 
who have traded to Tombuctoo. The reader will 


not have forgotten that all the accounts which 
Mr. Dupuis collected from such individuals, some of 
them men of high authority and credit amongst their 
countrymen, spoke of Tombuctoo as being now in 
all respects a Negro state. The hearsay evidence 
of Mr. Jackson goes decidedly to the same point ; 
and although that gentleman may have given an in- 
judicious importance to such testimony in his book, 
it ought not on that account alone to be entirely dis- 
regarded. The fact then being undeniable, that the 
most creditable of the Barbary traders who cross 
the Desert do not assign the dominion of Tombuc- 
too to the Moors ; and their testimony being ap- 
parently free from suspicion, because, in opposition 
to that which would most gratify their vanity, we can- 
not but think that it is at least as likely to be accu- 
rate as the reports of the Negroes whom Park con- 
sulted at Silla ; taking, as we ought, into account, 
the disadvantages both of language and situation 
under which he consulted them, and not forgettingthe 
reserve with which he himself teaches us to receive 
their testimony . # 

Having, as we trust, said sufficient to satisfy the 
reader, that there is nothing in the character of 
Adams's general evidence which can warrant the 
arbitrary rejection of his authority on points which 
are merely improbable; and having shewn that the evi- 
dencof otherson the particular pointatissue, is at least 

* Several instances of the contradictory testimony of the Negroes 
occur in Park's Travels. Jinnie, for instance, is stated in his first 
Mission to be situated on the Niger; but on his second Journey he 
renounces that opinion on the apparently good authority of an old So- 
monie (canoe-man) " who had been seven times at Tombuctoo." This 
informant places it on the Ba Nimma in the sketch which is copied 
into Park's Journal ; and the latter accordingly says, p. 166, " we 
*' shall not see Jinnie in going to Tombuctoo.'* But Amadi Fatouma 
confirms the first account which Park received, and says, in describing 
their voyage down the Niger from Silla, " we went in two days to 



of doubtful preponderance, we will just say one word 
on the probability that the story of the " old Negro," 
at Silla, may be strictly true, with reference to the 
early period of which he may be supposed to speak, 
and yet that Adams's account may be equally true, 
of a very different state of things now. 

It is well known that the vernacular histories, 
both traditionary and written, of the wars of the 
Moorish empire, agree in stating, that from the mid- 
dle of the seventeenth century, Tombuctoo was 
occupied by the troops of the Ernperours of Mo- 
rocco; in whose name a considerable annual tribute 
was levied upon the inhabitants: but that the Ne- 
groes, in the early part of the last century, taking 
advantage of one of those periods of civil dissen- 
sion and bloodshed which generally follow the de- 
mise of any of the Rulers of Barbary, did at length 
shake off the yoke of their northern masters, — to 
which the latter were never afterwards able again to 
reduce them. Nevertheless, although the Ernpe- 
rours of Morocco (whose power even to the north 
of the Desert has been long on the decline) might 
be unable, at the immense distance which separates 
them from Soudan, to resume an authority which 
had once escaped from their hands; it is reasonable 
to suppose, that the nearer tribes of Arabs would 
not neglect the opportunity thus afforded to them, 
of returning to their old habits of spoliation, and of 
exercising their arrogated superiority over their 
Negro neighbours ; # and that this frontier state 
would thus become the theatre of continual contests 
terminating alternately in the temporary occupation, 

* Mr. Jackson was informed, (See his " Account of Morocco," 4to, 
p. 250) that previous to the Moorish occupation of Timbuctoo (no- 
ticed in the text) the inhabitants had been subject to continual depre- 
dations from the Arabs of the adjacent countries. 


of Tombuctoo by the Arabs, and in their reexpul- 
sion by the Negroes.* 

We have seen this state of things existing in Lu- 
damar to the west of Tombuctoo, where a Negro 
population is subjected to the tyranny of the Arab 
chieftain Mi; between whom and his southern neigh- 
bours of Bambarra and Kaarta we find a continual 
struggle of aggression and self-defence : and the well 
known character of the Arabs would lead us to 
expect a similar state of things along the whole 
frontier of the Negro population. In the pauses of 
such a warfare we should expect to find no inter- 
mission of the animosity or precautions of the an- 
tagonist parties. The Arab, victorious, would be 
ferocious and intolerant even beyond his usual vio- 
lence ; and the Koran or the halter, as described by 
the old Negro of Silla, would probably be the al- 
ternatives which he would offer to his Negro guest : 
whilst the milder nature of the Negro would be 
content with such measures of precaution and self- 
defence as might appear sufficient to secure him 
from the return of the enemy whom he had expel- 
led, — without excluding the peaceful trader; and 
under the reestablished power of the latter, we 
might expect to find at Tombuctoo, precisely the 
same state of things as Adams describes to have ex- 
isted in 181 l.t 

* To elucidate the state of things which we have here supposed, 
we need not go further than to the history of Europe in our own days. 
How often, during the successful ravages of the great Arab chieftain 
of Christendom, might we not have drawn from the experience of 
Madrid, or Berlin, or Vienna, or Moscow, the aptest illustration of 
these conjectures respecting Tombuctoo? And an African traveller 
(if so improbable a personage may be imagined) who should have vis- 
ited Europe in these conjunctures, might very naturally have reported 
to his countrymen at home, that Russia, Germany, and Spain were but 
provinces of France ; and that the common sovereign of all these coun- 
tries resided sometimes in the Escurial and sometimes in the Kremlin ! 

f In the second volume of the Proceedings of the African Associa- 
tion, it is stated on the authority of VHagi Mohammed Sheriffe, that 


The reserve with which we have seen grounds for 
receiving the testimony of the natives of Africa, may 
reasonably accompany us in our further comparative 
examination of their accounts, and those of Adams, 
respecting the population and external appearance of 
the city of Tombuctoo. Notwithstanding, therefore, 
the alleged splendour of its court, polish of its in- 
habitants, and other symptoms of refinement which 
some modern accounts (or speculations,) founded on 
native reports, have taught us to look for, we are 
disposed to receive the humbler descriptions of 
Adams as approaching with much greater probabiln 
ty to the truth. Let us not, however be understood, 
as rating too highly the value of a Sailor's reports. 
They must of necessity be defective in a variety of 
ways. Many of the subjects upon which Adams was 
questioned are evidently beyond the competency of 
such an individual fully to comprehend or satisfactorily 
to describe ; and we must be content to reserve our 
final estimates of the morals, religion, civil polity, 
and learning (if they now have any) of the Negroes 
of Tombuctoo, until we obtain more conclusive in- 
formation than we can possibly derive from our pre- 
sent informant. Sufficient, however, may be gather- 
ed from his story, to prepare us for a disappoint- 
ment of many of the extravagant expectations which 
have been indulged respecting this boasted city. 

And here, we may remark, that the relative rank 
of Tombuctoo amongst the cities of central Africa, 
and its present importance with reference to Euro- 
pean objects, appear to us to be considerably overrate 
ed. The descriptions of Leo in the sixteenth century, 

the King of Bambarra, at the head of a numerous array actually did 
take the government of Tombuctoo out of the hands of " the Moors,'* 
in the year 1800. There is, however, a disagreement between this 
Sheriflfe and Park, respecting the name of the said King of Bambarra, 
whom the former calls Woollo. See Note 8, p. 90, respecting Woolla 
and Mansonjr. 


may indeed lend a colour to the brilliant anticipa- 
tions in which some sanguine minds have indulged 
on the same subjects in the nineteenth ; but with re- 
ference to the commercial pursuits of Europeans, it 
seems to have been forgotten, that the very circum- 
stance which has been the foundation of the impor- 
tance of Tombuctoo to the traders of Bai bary, and, 
consequently, of much of its fame amongst us, — its 
frontier situation on the verge of the Desert, at the 
extreme northern limits of the Negro population, — 
will of necessity have a contrary operation now; 
since a shorter and securer channel for European en- 
terprise into the central regions of Africa, has been 
opened by the intrepidity and perseverance of Park, 
from the southwestern shores of the Atlantick. 

Independently of this consideration, there is great 
reason to believe, that Tombuctoo has in reality de- 
clined of late, from the wealth and consequence 
which it appears formerly to have enjoyed. The ex- 
istence of such a state of things as we have described 
in the preceding pages, the oppressions of the Moors, 
the resistance of the Negroes, the frequent change 
of masters, and the insecurity of property consequent 
upon these intestine struggles, would all lead di- 
rectly and inevitably to this result. That they have 
led to it, may be collected from other sources than 
Adams. Even Park, to whom so brilliant a descrip- 
tion of the city was given by some of his informants, 
was told by others, that it was surpassed in opu- 
lence and size, by Haoussa Walet, and probably by 
Jinnie. Several instances also occur in both his Mis- 
sions, which prove that a considerable trade from 
Barbary is carried on direct from the Desert, to Sego 
and the neighbouring countries, without ever touch- 
ing at Tombuctoo ; and this most powerful of (he 
states of Africa in the sixteenth century, according 
to Leo, is now, in the nineteenth, to all appearance. 


a mere tributary dependency of a kingdom, which 
does not appear to have been known to Leo, even by 

Such a decline of the power and commercial im- 
portance of Tombuctoo, would naturally be accom- 
panied by a corresponding decay of the city itself; 
and we cannot suppose that Adams's description of 
its external appearance will be rejected on account 
of its improbability, by those who recollect that Leo 
describes the habitations of the natives in his time, 
almost in the very words of the Narrative now ; # 

* One of the numerous discordances between the different transla- 
tions of Leo occurs in the passage here alluded to. The meaning of 
the Italian version is simply this, — that *» the dwellings of the people 
*' of Tombuctoo are cabins or huts constructed with stakes covered 
" with chalk (or clay) and thatched with straw." — " le cui case sono 
"capanne fatte di pali coperte di creta coi cortivi di paglia." But 
the expression in the Latin translation, (which is closely followed by 
the old English translator, Pory,) implies a state of previous splendour 
and decay, — "cujus doraus omnes in tuguriola cretacea, stramineis 
"tectis, sunt mutatce." 

As we shall have occasion hereafter to point out another disagree- 
ment between the different versions of Leo, it may be expedient to in- 
form some of our readers, that the Italian translation here quoted, is 
described to have been made by Leo himself, from the original Arabick 
in which he composed his work ; and he appears, by the following 
extract from the Preface of his Italian Editor, to have learnt that 
language, late in life, for this especial purpose. See the first volume 
of Ramusio's Raccolto delle Navigatione e Viaggi. Venetia, 1588. 

" Cosi habito poi in Roma il rimanente della vita sua, dove imparl 
" la lingua Italiana e leggere e scrivere, e tradusse questo suo libro 
*' meglio eh' egli seppe di Arabo : il qual libro scritto da lui medesimo, 
M dopo rnolti accidente pervenne nelle nostre mani ; e noi con quella 
" maggior diligenza che habbiamo potuto, ci siamo ingegnati con ogni 
44 fedelta di farlo venir in luce nel modo cbe hora si legge." — " Thus 
'* he dwelt in Rome the remainder of his life, where he learnt to read 
" and write the Italian language, and translated his Book from the 
44 Arabick in the best manner that he was able," &c. &c. Suppos- 
ing the Latin version to be a translation direct from the Arabick, 
that circumstance, and the preceding explanation, may afford a 
clue to the discordances to which we have alluded ; but a reference 
to the Arabick original (which we believe is not to be found in any of 
our publick libraries) could alone enable us to ascertain, whether the 
fault lay solely in the Latin translator's ignorance of Arabick, or in 
Leo's probable imperfect acquaintance with the Italian. We will only 
add, that in the passages which we have compared, the Italian and 
French, and the Latin and English translations, respectively agree with 
each other. 


and that the flourishing cities of Sego and Sansand- 
ing appear, from Park's accounts, to be built of mud, 
precisely in the same manner as Adams describes the 
houses of Tombuctoo. 

But whatever may be the degree of Adams's coin- 
cidence with other authorities, in his descriptions of 
the population and local circumstances of Tombuc- 
too, there is at least one asserted fact in this part of 
his Narrative, which appears to be peculiarly his 
own ; the existence, we mean, of a considerable navi- 
gable river close to the city. To the truth of this fact 
Adams's credit is completely pledged. On many 
other subjects, it is possible that his Narrative might 
be considerably at variance with the truth, by a 
mere defect of memory or observation, and without 
justifying any imputations on his veracity; but it is 
evident that no such latitude can be allowed to him on 
the present occasion ; and that his statement respect- 
ing the La Mar Zarah, if not in substance true, must 
be knowingly and wilfully false. 

Those of our readers who have attended to the 
progress of African discovery, will recollect that 
Tombuctoo, although it is placed, by the concurring 
testimony of several authorities, in the immediate vi- 
cinity of the Niger, is nevertheless represented to 
lie at a certain distance from the river, not greater 
than a day's journey according to the highest state- 
ment, nor less according to the lowest, than twelve 
miles. To these statements, which may be presum- 
ed to approach very nearly to the truth, may be ad- 
ded, on pretty much the same authorities, that the 
town of Kabra on the Niger is the shipping port of 
Tombuctoo, lying at the aforesaid distance of twelve 
miles, or of a day's journey, from the city. And 
neither Park, nor any other written authority (in- 
cluding the English translation of Leo, of which we 
shall say more hereafter) make any express mention 


of a communication by water with the city of Tom- 
buctoo itself. 

Adams, however, as has been already observed, 
cannot have been mistaken in so important a tact as 
that which he has here stated. He never discover- 
ed the least hesitation in his repeated assertions of 
the proximity of the river to the town, or of his subse- 
quent journey, for ten days, along its banks ; and 
we cannot entertain the smallest doubt that the 
river exists precisely as he has described it. We 
shall presently shew to what extent the probability 
of this fact is countenanced by other considerations: 
and in the mean time, the two following alternatives 
present themselves, respecting the probable course 
of the river beyond the southwestern point to which 
Adams's observation of it extended ; — either, that it 
turns immediately, at a considerable angle, to the 
southward, and falls into the Niger in the neigh- 
bourhood of Kabra ; — or, that continuing its south- 
westerly course from Tombuctoo, it empties itself 
into the lake Dibble^ possibly at the northern inlet 
which Park's informants described to him as one 
of the two channels* by which that lake discharges 
the waters of the Joliba. Neither of these suppo- 
sitions are inconsistent with the existence, or the 
importance to Tombuctoo, of the port of Kabra : 
for if, on the one hand, the communication of 
Adams's river with the Niger lies through the lake 
Dibbie, it will be seen by a glance at the Map, what 
a circuitous water conveyance would be cut off by 

* The fact of a large lake like the Dibbie discharging its waters by 
two streams flowing from the distant parts of the lake, and re-uniting 
after a separate course of a hundred miles in length, has always ap- 
peared to us extremely apocryphal : at least we believe, that the geo- 
graphy of the world does not afford a parallel case. The separation of 
rivers into various branches, in alluvial tracts on the sea coast, is 
a well known geological fact; but the case is essentially different with 
reference to a lake at so great a distance inland. 


transporting from Tombuctoo across to Kabra, and 
shipping there such merchandise as should be des- 
tined for the eastward ; and even if Kabra should be 
situated at the confluence of the La Mar Zara and 
the Niger, its importance as the rendezvous, or 
point of contact with Tombuctoo, for all the ca- 
noes coming either up or down the stream, — from 
the west or from the east, — needs no explanation. 

We will now endeavour to show what degree of 
countenance or corroboration other authorities afford 
to the general fact, that there is a water communica- 
tion between the Niger, at some point of its course, 
and the city of Tombuctoo. 

In the first place, notwithstanding the distinct no- 
tice of Kabra, both by Leo and Park, as the great 
resort of the trade of the Niger, and as the port of 
Tombuctoo, both these writers, especially Park in 
his last journey, speak indirectly on several occa- 
sions of sailing to and from Tombuctoo, in such a 
manner as fairly to imply that they or their infor- 
mants meant, not the distant port of Kabra, but 
the city of Tombuctoo itself. The Barbary tra- 
ders, also, whose reports are quoted by Mr. Dupuis, 
mention a river (which they, however, consider to be 
the Niger) as running close past the city; and we 
are inclined to pay the greater attention to these re- 
ports, because we have always considered it ex- 
tremely improbable, that the greatest trading de- 
pot in the interiour of Africa (and such undoubtedly 
has been the city of Tombuctoo) lying so near to all 
the advantages of an extensive water communica- 
tion like the Niger, should yet have no point of im- 
mediate contact with the river itself, or with any of 
its tributary branches. 

But there is, in the second place, strong reason 
to believe that Leo Africanus, the only writer who 
professes to describe Tombuctoo from personal ob- 



servation, will really be found to have noticed sucn 
a river as Adams has made us acquainted with. A 
comparison of the original Arabick in which Leo 
wrote, with the translations, could alone enable us to 
speak with perfect confidence on this subject; but 
we trust that we shall be able, by a brief examina- 
tion of the latter, to show that our opinion is not a 
gratuitous speculation. 

There are two passages in which Leo speaks of 
the relative situations of Tombuctoo and the Niger ; 
the one in his chapter on Tombuctoo, and the other 
in that on Kabra ; and our opinion of his meaning, 
on a joint consideration of both these passages, and 
of the ambiguity or contradiction of his translators, 
is this ; that Tombuctoo is situated upon a branch or 
arm of the JYiger twelve miles distant from the princi- 
pal stream. We are aware that this construction is 
not warranted by the English translation,* which 
(following the Latin) states, that " it is situate within 
"twelve miles of a certain branch of Niger;'' but 
there is a peculiarity in the expression of the Latin 
translation, an ambiguity in that of the Italian ver- 
sion, and an inconsistency in both, between the 
passage in question and the context, which are 
open to much observation. The Italian translation 
(subject, always, to the explanation given in the Pre- 
facef ) must be considered as the best authority ; 
its words are these : " vicina a un ramo del Niger 
" circa a dodici miglia ;" the ambiguity of which 
has been faithfully preserved by the French trans- 
lator, who with a total disregard of idiom, and appa- 
rently little solicitude about meaning, thus copies it, 

* " A Geographical Historie of Africa," written in Arabicke and 
" Italian by John Leo, a More. Translated and collected by John IV 
«' ry, lately of Gonville and Caius College." London, 1600. 

f See Note, pp. 182-3. 


word for word : # " prochain d'un bras du Niger en- 
" viron douze mile." The Latin Editor, however, 
takes more pains to explain his conception of the 
passage, which he conveys in the following words : 
" in duodecimo miliario a qiwdam fluviolo situm fuit 
" quod e Nigro flumine effluebat." 

Conjointly with this passage, thus translated, we 
must take into our consideration the other passage 
in the chapter on Kabra, to which we before allud- 
ed ; wherein Leo states (without any variation be- 
tween his translators) that Tombuctoo is distant 
twelve miles from the Niger. 

Now, supposing, on the one hand, that the 
literal meaning of the translations of the former 
passage implies, that Tombuctoo is situated twelve 
miles from a smaller river communicating with the 
Niger ; and being certain, on the other, that the 
latter passage really means that Tombuctoo lies ex- 
actly the same distance from the Niger itself; ad- 
mitting, we say, that there may be two distinct 
streams, each precisely twelve miles distant from 
the city ; is it probable that Leo, wishing to desig- 
nate to his readers, in the former passage, the ex- 
act position of Tombuctoo, by its distance from 
some given point, should select for that purpose, 
not the far famed Niger itself, but an equally re- 
mote, a smaller, and a nameless stream ? Surely not. 
There can hardly be a doubt, that it is to the Niger, 
and to the same point of the Niger, that he refers 
in both passages; that the translators, by a very 
trifling mistake in the Arabick idiom, or by a want of 
precision in their own, have given a different colour 
to his meaning; and that the smaller stream, the 
" ramo del Niger," and the " fluviolum," is really 
the La Mar Zarah seen by Adams. 

* Lyons Ed. folio, 1556. 


We have been led into a more detailed examina- 
tion of this part of the Narrative than we had at first 
anticipated ; but the question is of considerable in- 
terest, not merely with reference to the verification of 
Adams's story, but as containing in itself a probable 
solution of the mistakes and doubts by which the 
real course of the Niger (from west to east) was 
for so many ages obscured. If the La Mar Zarah 
really communicates with the Niger, either at Kabra, 
or through the Lake Dibbie, by a southwesterly 
course from Tombuctoo, w r e have at once a probable 
explanation of the origin of Leo's mistake, (so ably 
exposed and corrected by Major Rennell) in plac- 
ing Ginea (Gana) to the westward of Tombuctoo. 
That Leo was never on the Niger itself is sufficient- 
ly evident, for he states it to flow from east to west ; 
but knowing that the traders who embarked at Tom- 
buctoo for Ginea # proceeded, in the beginning of their 
course, to the west or southwest with the stream, 
(wjiich would be the case on Adams's river) he was 
probably thus misled into a belief that the whole of the 
course, as well as the general sfer earn of the Niger, 
lay in that direction. 

We shall here close these imperfect remarks ; in 
which we have endeavoured to bring before the 
reader such illustrations as are to be collected from 
collateral sources, of the most original, or most ob- 
jectionable, of those points of Adams's stofy v which are 

* Leo says, that the merchants of Tombuctoo sailed to. Ginea dur- 
ing the inundations of the Niger in the months of July, August, and Sep- 
tember; which seems to, imply, that at other seasons there was not a 
continuous passage by water. He also says In another place, that when 
the Niger rises, the waters flow through certain canals to the ci,ty (Tom- 
buctoo). As these passages when considered together, seeni to infer 
that the navigation of the river of Tombuctoo (the La Mar Zqrah) is 
bstructed by shallows during the dry season, they afford grounds for 
g that Adams, when he saw that river (which was in the dry 
y. have had good reasons for doubting which way the strain 



unsupported by direct external evidence. We might 
have greatly multiplied our examples of the indirect 
coincidences between Adams's statements, and other 
authorities, respecting the habits, customs, and cir- 
cumstances of the inhabitants of central Africa; which 
would have added to the other incontestable evidences 
of the genuineness and accuracy of his relations. But 
the detail will have been already anticipated by most 
of Adams's readers, and would, we hope, be super- 
fluous to all. We shall therefore conclude, by no- 
ticing only two important circumstances, respective- 
ly propitious and adverse to the progress of disco- 
very and civilization, which the present Narrative de- 
cidedly confirms; viz. the mild and tractable natures of 
the Pagan JVegroes of Soudan, and their friendly de- 
portment towards strangers, on the one hand, — and, 
on the other, the extended and baneful range of that 
great original feature of African society — Slavery. 


At a time when the civilization and improvement of 
Africa, and the extension of our intercourse with the 
natives of that long neglected country, seem to be 
among the leading objects of the British government 
and nation, — and when, with these views, great ex- 
ertions are making to procure information respecting 
theinteriour of that vast and unknown continent; the 
following account of Tombuctoo, and the trade and 
navigation of the Niger, may perhaps prove not alto- 
gether uninteresting. It was procured on a journey 
to Galam in about the year 1764, for a gentleman 
who was then Governour of Senegal, by a person 
who acted as his Arabick interpreter. 

# c; Apres bien des difficultes, j'ai enfin trouve un 
hornme qui est revenu de Tombuctoo depuis peu, qui 

* It may seem superfluous in the present enlightened age, to give a 
translation of a French paper; but there may still be some of our rea- 
ders to whom the following, if not necessary, may be convenient. 

" After many difficulties, I have at length found a man lately return- 
ed from Tombuctoo, from whom I have obtained better information of 
the country than from any other person. I have spoken to several 
merchants, who have reported some things to me, but I confide most in 
this last, who is lately returned, who has assured me that the vessels 
which navigate in the river of Tombuctoo do not come from the sea ; 
that they are vessels constructed at Tombuctoo, which are sewed either 
with cordage or with the bark of the cocoa tree, he does not exactly 
know which ; that these vessels only go by tracking and by oars (or 

M He says, that the inhabitants of the city of Tombuctoo are Arabs, 
that it is a large city, and that the houses have three or four stories. 
He says, that the caravans which come to Tombuctoo, come from the side 
of Medina, and bring stuffs, white linens, and all sorts of merchandise. 
That these caravans are composed only of camels, that they stop at 


m'a mieux instruit du pays que personne. J'ai parle 
aplusieurs marchands, qui m'en ont compte quelque 
chose, mais je m'en rapporte mieux au dernier, qui 
en vient depuis peu ; qui m'a assure que les batimens, 
qui naviguent dans la riviere de Tombuctoo, ne 
viennent point de la grande mer ; que ce sont des 
batimens construits a Tombuctoo, qui sont cousus soit 
avec du cordage, soit avec de 1'ecorce de coco, il ne le 
sait pas au juste; que ces batimens ne vont qu'au 
traite et a l'aviron. 

" II dit que ce sont des Arabes qui habitent la 
ville de Tombuctoo, que c'est une grande ville, que 
les maisons ont trois ou quatre etages. II dit, que 
les caravanes qui viennent a Tombuctoo, viennent 
du cote de Medine,* et apportent toutes sortes de 
marchandises, des etoffes, et des toiles blanches; 
que ces caravanes ne sont composees que de cha- 
meaux; qu'elles s'arretent a une demi lieue de Tom- 

the distance of half a league from Tombuctoo, and that the people 
of Tombuctoo go there to buy the goods, and take them into the 
city ; afterwards that they equip their vessels to send them to 
Gentle, which is another city under the dominion of Tombuctoo, and 
that the inhabitants of Tombuctoo have correspendents there. 
The people of Genne in their turn equip their vessels, and put into 
them the merchandise which they have received from the people of 
Tombuctoo, with which they ascend the river. It is to be remarked, 
that the separation of the two rivers is at half a league from Genne, and 
Genne is sitaated between the two rivers like an island. One of these 
rivers runs into Bambarra and the other goes to Betoo, which is a 
country inhabited by a people of a reddish colour, who are always at 
war with the Bambarras. When they go out to war against the Bam- 
barras, they are always five months absent. After the barks of Genne 
hare gone a great distance up the river, they arrive at the fall of Soo- 
tasoo, where they stop and can proceed no further. There they un- 
load their salt and other merchandise, and carry them upon the backs 
of asses, and uponjheir heads to the other side of the fall, were they 
find the large boats of the Negroes, which they freight ; and ascend the 
river to she country of the Mandingoes who are called Malins, and who 
are near to the rock Gouvina. 

* It appears from Mr. Ledyard's and Mr. Lucas's communications 
to the African Association, that the caravans from Mecca, Medina, and 
all Egypt, arrive at Tombuctoo, by the same rout as those from Me- 
surata, going round by Mourzouk. Proceedings of the African Associa- 
tion, 4to. 1790, pp. 33, 87. 


buctoo, et que tie la, les gens de Tombuctoo vont 
acheter les marchandises, et les apportent dans la 
ville ; ensuite, qu'ils arment leurs batimens pour les 
envoyer a Genne, qui est une autre ville sous la do- 
mination de Tombuctoo, et que les habitans de 
Tombuctoo y ont des corresponclans. Ceux de Gen- 
ne arment a leur tour leurs batimens, et y mettent 
les marchandises qu'ils ont re$us des batimens de 
Tombuctoo, et font monter leurs batimens a leur 
tour, et leur font monter la riviere. II est a remar- 
quer, que la separation des deux rivieres est a une 
demi lieue de Genne, et Genne se trouve entre les 
deux rivieres, comme une isle. Une de ces rivieres 
court dans la Bambarra, et l'autre va a Bctoo, qui 
est un pays habite par un peuple rougeatre, qui fait 
sans cesse la guerre aux Bambarras. Lorsqu'ils 
vont a la guerre contre les Bambarras, ils sont 
toujours cinq mois dehors. Apres que les barques 
de Genne ont monte la riviere bien avant, ils trou- 
vent la chute de Sootasoo ; ou ils s'arretent, et ne 
peuvent plus passer. La ils dechargent leur sel et 
leurs marchandises, et les portent a l'autre cote de 
la chute a dos d' anes, et sur leurs tetes. La ils 
trouvent les grandes pirogues des Negres, qu'ils 
frakent, et content la riviere avec ces pirogues 
jusqu'a chez les JMarulings, qui s'appellent Matins, 
,qui sont proche du roche Gouvina." 

The gentleman, for whom these particulars were 
collected, states, that he has always had the greatest 
confidence in their correctness ; not only on account 
of the character and talents .of the person employ- 
ed, but also from the means which he had, during a 
residence of three or four years at Senegal, to verify 
all the most material points in them, upon the in- 
formation of others ; which he lost no opportunity of 
obtaining. In his account of the position of Genne? 
the junction of the two rivers near to it, the course 



of one of these rivers from Betoo or Badoo, and the 
course of the Niger itself at that time (17 64) generally 
supposed to be from east to west ; the Arabick inter- 
preter has been proved, by the information obtained 
through Mr. Park, to be correct; and his represen- 
tation of the trade upon the Niger is accurately con- 
firmed by Mr. Park, in hjs conversation with the 
ambassadors of the King of Bambarra;* except 
that he carries it beyond Mr. Park's report. 

If the interpreter's report be correct, it would 
seem that the Niger is navigable to a much greater 
distance westward, than it is represented to be in 
any of the existing maps of that part of Africa ; nor 
does there appear to be any authority to oppose to 
this theory, except the information which Major 
Rennell states Mr. Park to have received, when at 
Kamalia, on his return from his first journey ; that 
the source of the Niger was at a bearing of south, a 
very little west, seven journeys distant, for which 
Mr. Park calculated one hundred and eight geogra- 
phical miles.f The name of the place was said to be 
Sankari, which the Major supposes to correspond 
with the Song of D'Anville. But this account is too 
vague to be implicitly relied upon, in a country, 
where men travel, as Mr. Park observes,f only for 
the acquirement of wealth ; and pay but little at- 
tention to the course of rivers, or the geography of 
countries. In other respects, the idea that the 
Niger is navigable to a considerable distance above 
Bammakoo, instead of being contradicted, is much 
supported by all the information which is to be col- 

* " We sell them (the articles brought by the Moors) to the Moors ; 
"the Moors bring them to Tombuctoo, where they sell them at a 
" higher rate. The people of Tombuctoo sell them to the people of 
" Jinnie at a still higher price ; and the people of Jinnie sell them to 
"you." Park's Last Mission, 4to. p. 268. 

f Appendix, First Journey, page xliv. { Idem, page 214. 


lected from Mr. Park's Journeys, and particularly 
his Last Mission ; though to a person looking only 
at the Map attached to his Notes, the fact would ap- 
pear to be otherwise. 

Tne Arabick interpreter speaks of a trade and 
extensive navigation above the falls of Sootasoo, 
which must be to the westward ; as he states it to 
extend into the country of a Mandingo nation called 
Malms,* whose territories approach near to the 
rock Gouvina. His account is supported by the 
fact, that Bammakoo is at the commencement of the 
Mandingo Nations ; but the representation of the 
river above it, according to our maps, gives no idea 
of the further voyage which he speaks of. Mr. 
Park does not notice the existence of the falls of Soo- 
tasoo, but from his description of the rapids at Bam- 
makoo, there is every reason to believe that they 
are the same.t He tells us, that at that} season 
(21st August) the river was navigable over the 
rapids. We are consequently to understand, that 
at other seasons it is not navigable over them even 
downwards ; and that although he avoided the prin- 
cipal falls, where, as he says, the water breaks with 
considerable noise in the middle of the river, 

* We have no account of the people here spoken of under the name 
of Matins, and have ascertained hy Mr. Park's discoveries, that the 
river does not actually approach the rock Gouvina; but it should be 
observed that the rock was the only point in that part of Africa to 
which the interpreter could refer as known to the person to whom 
his communication was addressed. The Mandingo nations commence 
to the eastward at about Bammakoo, and extend some distance to the 
northwest, and to the west almost to the seacoast. From this cir- 
cumstance therefore, as well as from the mention of the rock Gou- 
vina, it is evident that the country spoken of must be to the west of 

f The country in which Bammakoo is situated, and a very extensive 
tract to the westward, is stated by D'Anville to be inhabited by a 
people called Soosos. 

| Last Mission, page 257 


and paddled down one of the branches near the 
shore ; still the velocity was such, as to make hiua 

Major Rennell, who appears to have obtained 
from Mr. Park information upon geographical mat- 
ters, far beyond that which is to be collected by the 
mere perusal of his first Journey, states, thatf the 
Niger first becomes navigable at Bammakoo, or per- 
haps, that it is only navigable upwards to that point 
in a continuous course from Tombuctoo. His lat- 
ter supposition is most probably correct, as it does 
not militate against the existence of a navigation, 
not continuous, beyond Bammakoo, nor against the 
fact proved by Mr. Park in his second mission, that 
at particular seasons the rapids may be passed 
downwards. It is also clear from Park, that there 
is, at least to a certain distance, above Bammakoo, 
a populous and trading country : as it was at Kan* 
caba (called in the maps Kaniaba)f that Karfa Tau- 
ra bought his slaves before proceeding to the coast. 
It is called a large town on the banks of the Niger, 
and a great slave market ; and is placed by Major 
Rennell, (doubtless on the authority of Park) above 
Bammakoo. § Most of the slaves, Mr. Park says, 
who are sold at Kancaba, come from Bambarra : for 
Mansong, to avoid the expense and danger of keep- 
ing all his prisoners at Sego, commonly sends them 
in small parties to be sold at the different trading 
towns; and as Kancaba is much resorted to by 
merchants, it is always well supplied with slaves, 
which are sent thither up the Niger in canoes. It 
cannot be supposed that this resort of merchants, 
is from places down the river ; that they leave the 

* Idem, page 258. 
f First Journey, Appendix, xliv. f Idem, p. 275, 

6 Idem, Major Rennell's Maps. 


great markets of Sego and Sansanding, to labour 
over the rapids to Kancaba; or that the slaves 
would be sent there to be bought by merchants who 
could receive them at places so much nearer. It 
must be for a trade down the river from populous 
countries situated above Kancaba, that they are sent 
there. Nor is it easy to believe, that a river, which 
Mr. Park states to be at Bammakoo, a mile across, 
and to be interrupted in its navigation only by a lo- 
cal cause, should not be navigable above that cause : 
or that a stream, which he states to be larger even 
there (at Bammakoo) than either the Gambia or the 
Senegal, should be distant from its source only 108 
geographical miles, and draw its supplies from a 
country, which, by the map attached to Park's last 
mission, appears to be only 40 or 50 G. miles in 
breadth ; when the Senegal has a course of not 
less than 600 G. miles, measured by the same map, 
across to the rock Gouvina, and from that to its 
mouth, without making any further allowance for 
its windings; and drains for its support, a country 
extending, according to the same authority, in 
breadth, not less than 300 G. miles. It will of 
course occur to any person, looking at the maps at- 
tached to Park's Journeys, that the places marked 
out as the sources of the Senegal and Gambia, pre- 
clude the possibility of the Niger's extending far- 
ther to the westward than is there represented ; but 
upon a careful perusal of Park's Last Mission, 
there seems strong ground to believe, that the fra- 
mers of his map, proceeding upon the old idea that 
the Seqegal and Gambia take their rise in the Kong 
mountains, have here fallen into an errour. It 
would appear that there are two distinct ranges of 
mountains, commencing at the Foota J alia hills. 
The Kong mountains running to the east, but in a 


line curved considerably to the south, and supposed 
to be the greatest mountains in Africa ; the other 
proceeding in a more direct line and increasing in its 
elevation, as it extends towards the east, seems to 
approach nearly to its full height at the Konkodoo 
mountains, and bending or returning to the north and 
N. W. beyond Toniba, where Mr. Park crossed it, 
to give birth to all the streams, which, united, form 
the Senegal. 

Of the sources of the Gambia, we have no particu- 
lar account, but it seems probable that these two 
ranges of mountains are united at their western ex- 
tremity, and that the Gambia does not extend beyond 
this union ; an idea in which there is ground to 
believe that Mr. Park would have concurred from 
expressions in two of his first letters to Sir Joseph 
Banks, the first dated from Kayee, River Gambia, 
26 April, 1805.* " The course of the Gambia is 
" certainly not so long as is laid down in the charts." 
The second letter is dated Badoo, near Tambacun- 
da, May 28th, 1805.f " The course of the Gambia 
" is laid down on my chart too much to the south ; I 
" have ascertained nearly its whole course." The 
removal of the river more to the north by leaving a 
larger space for its course from the mountains, ren- 
ders it more probable that it should be terminated at 
the point herein supposed; and if its sources were as 
they are represented to be in our maps, it is difficult 
to imagine that Mr. Park could, as he states, have 
ascertained nearly its whole course. 

The position of the northern range of hills is de- 
scribed by Mr. Park with considerable accuracy 
at Dindikoo.J where he speaks of the inhabitants 
looking from their tremendous precipices over that 
wild and woody plain which extends from the Fale- 

* The Last Mission, p. 62. f Idem, p. 69. J Last Mission, p. 176. 


me to the Black River. This plain, he says, is, in 
extent from north to south, about forty miJes; the 
range of hills to the south seems to run in the same 
direction as those of Konkodoo, viz. from east to 
west. The framers of his map have made them run 
north and south, because they could not otherwise 
carry the sources of the rivers beyond them. Dindi- 
koo was on the northern range of hills, and suppos- 
ing the southern range to be, as he states, distant 
about forty miles, it will be found sufficient to ac- 
count for the size assigned to all the rivers passed 
by Mr. Park in his route from the Gambia. 

The first of these is the Faleme river, which he 
had already crossed at Madina. # No particular ac- 
count is given of the size of this river, or of the man- 
ner of passing it; but in his former journey, when he 
crossed it about the same place, he sayst that it was 
easily forded, being only about two feet deep. In his 
last mission,^ he says, its course is from the south- 
east, the distance to its source six ordinary days' 
travel. Assigning to it this course, its source will 
not be beyond the hills ; but the compilers of the map 
attached to his Journal have given it a course much 
more nearly south, and have placed its source, even 
in this direction, far beyond six days' journey by their 
own scale, and without making any allowance for 
the time, and the distance in an horizontal line, lost 
in travelling over a mountainous country. The next 
river is the Ba Lee, too insignificant to be noticed. 
The next the Ba Fing, the greatest of the rivers 
which form the Senegal. This was passed at Kon- 
kromo by canoes. He gives us no account of the 
course of this river or the distance to its sources, but 
merely says,|| M it is here a large river, quite navi- 

* Idem, page 167. f First Journey, page 34G. 

t Last Mission, page 167. || Last Mission, pages 1«3, lfl4, 195, 


" gable ; it is swelled at this time about two feet, 
" and flows at the rate of three knots per hour." 
When fully flooded, its course must be much more 
rapid, as in his first journey,* he crossed it by a 
bridge, formed of two trees, tied together by the 
tops; and adds, that this bridge is carried away 
every year by the swelling of the river. Running, 
as we collect, from both Mr. Park's journeys, but 
particularly the first, as this river does, at the foot 
of a high ridge of mountains,t and through a coun- 
try, which he calls every where " hilly, and rugged, 
u and grand beyond any thing he had seen ;"f and 
allowing for its necessary sinuosity in such a coun- 
try, and its receipt of numerous smaller streams in 
passing through it, there can be no difficulty in ac- 
counting for it such as described by Mr. Park at 
Konkromo, by placing its sources in the hills already 
described ; for neither his descriptions of a river,which 
being flooded two feet is quite navigable, nor of one, 
which could be crossed by so simple a bridge, im- 
press us with the idea of a mighty stream, or of one 
far distant from its source. It is also fair to presume, 
that this and the other rivers, forming the Senegal, 
have a part of their course at, or parallel with, the 
foot of these hills, collecting the waters which de- 
scend from them. The next river is crossed near to 
Madina, and is represented in the map as formed by 
the confluence of the Furkomah and Boki rivers, and 
not very greatly inferiour either in magnitude or in 
the length of its course even to the Ba Fing. All 
that Mr. Park says of this great river, is, " at eleven 
" o'clock, crossed a stream, like a mill-stream, run- 
ning north" !|| The last river we come to, is the 
Ba Woolima, with its various streams, the Wonda, 

* First Journey, page 338. f First Journey, page 340. 

| Second Mission, page 192, and First Journey, page 337, et passim 
|| Second Mission, page 197. 


Ba Lee, Kokoro, &c. ; which, after what has been 
said of the Ba Fing, scarcely require to be noticed ; 
except, that by their windings and the numerous 
streams crossed in each day's journey, they serve 
to shew the small distance, in which a considerable 
river may be formed in such a country. They are 
all clearly bounded by the chain of mountains herein 
described, which, a little further eastward, bends or 
returns (as already observed) to the north and 
northwest to the kingdom of Kasson,* and forms 
the eastern angle of the triangle, described by Major 
Rennell, in his Appendix to Park's first Journey ; a 
description corresponding very accurately with that 
here supposed; though the Major, in his Map, still 
carries the sources of the Senegal (the Ba Fing, &c.) 
across to the Kong mountains, and represents the 
mountains in that part of the country as running 
north and south, and extending southward to the 
same chain of mountains ; and it is in this point only, 
that there appears to be reason for doubting his cor- 
rectness. In Konkodoo, we have this northern range 
clearly described as running east and west at a dis- 
tance of about forty miles. By the necessity for 
avoiding the difficulties of the Jalonka wilderness, 
we there lose sight of them for a time ; but when 
we find them again at Toniba, they are there also 
running east and west, for Mr. Park crossed them in 
a course nearly from north to south,! and we have 
endeavoured to shew, that the magnitude of the 
rivers passed in the intermediate space, is not such 
as necessarily to induce a belief, that the mountains 
do not there preserve the same direction ; especially 
as the course of the greatest of these rivers is not 
given, whether from the south, or rather from the 

* First Journey, Appendix, page xix. 
f Second Mission, pages 253, 254, 255. 


eastward of south, which seems the most probable ; 
as the Major represents (and we believe with correct- 
ness), that the eastern level of the country is here 
the highest. 

It is in the plain, left between the Kong mountains 
and this ridge, which, according to Park, separates 
the Niger from the remote branches of the Senegal ; # 
that the Niger has its course, " rolling its immense 
u stream along the plain,"t and washing the southern 
base of these mountains.^ The extent of this plain 
to the west, and the distance to which the Niger is 
navigable through it, are points not yet known, and 
which, although of the very utmost importance to 
the prosecution of our discoveries or the extension 
of our trade in the interiour. it does not appear that 
any attempt has yet been made to ascertain. From 
its situation between two such ranges of mountains, 
it may be presumed, that the plain is of great eleva- 
tion ; and from the report of the Arabick interpre- 
ter, supported by Mr. Park's account of Kaniaba or 
Kancaba, there is reason to believe that the Niger is 
navigable through it, to a considerable distance 
westward. The information received by Mr. Park 
at Kamalia may still have been correct: one of the 
principal streams, forming the Niger, may have its 
source at the place described to him; another may 
flow down this plain from the westward, collecting 
in its course all the streams that run from the south 
side of the mountains which give birth to tl e Sene- 
gal, and from the northern declivity of the Kong 
mountains. In this way we have no difficulty in ac- 
counting for the magnitude of the Niger at Bamma- 
koo; which we have already observed that it is im- 
possible to do, by the course hitherto assigned to it ; 
especially when it is considered that that course is 

* Idem, page 256. f Idem, page 256. J Idem, page 231 . 


nearly at a right angle with the Kong mountains, and 
consequently a great part of it through the plain, 
where it is not likely to receive much additional 

If these conjectures be well founded, it would seem 
that our pursuit should be, instead of endeavouring 
to perform the difficult, dangerous, and expensive 
operation of transporting a caravan to the remote 
station of Bamraakoo ; to search for the nearest point 
to the westward, at which the Niger is navigable; 
that we may commence our discoveries and trade 
by navigation as near as possible to the Western 
Ocean. With this view, the Gambia should be im- 
mediately occupied by this country ; and indeed this, 
under any circumstances, would seem to be a wise 
measure, that we may not, at the moment that our 
discoveries begin to lead to results of value, find, 
that the right of navigating that river is disputed 
with us by the prior establishment of some rival and 
more active European nation. 

An establishment should then be formed as high 
up that river as its navigation, and the state of the 
country, will permit ; and from this point, there could 
be no great difficulty or expense in sending a mission 
into the interiour, to the southeast, to seek for 
the sources of the Niger, and the extent of its naviga- 
tion to the westward. Nor can there be any ques- 
tion upon the possibility of establishing a settlement 
high up in the Gambia, from whence to commence 
our discoveries, after the example of the French Fort 
of St. Joseph at Galam on the Senegal. Galam is 
150 leagues in a direct line from the mouth of the 
Senegal, or by the course of the river 350 leagues.* 

* These distances are given according to a most beautiful and cor- 
rect Chart of the River Senegal, drawn from an actual survey, which 
was in the possession of the gentleman here alluded to as having 
been in the government of Senegal, and was taken from him by the 
French, by whom he was captured on a voyage to England. 


The fort was many years in the possession of the 
French ; and at the time its garrison was removed 
after the capture of Senegal by this country in the 
year 1763, the officer in charge of it had been station- 
ed there twenty-four years, the next in command six- 
teen, and others very long periods. The natives were 
so far from shewing any hostile disposition to the 
French trade upon the river, that they gave to it 
every possible protection and encouragement ; as 
they were fully sensible that it was for their interest 
to support it: the navigation of the river was secure, 
and the officers at the fort upon the most friendly 
footing with the inland powers. 

By commencing our operations from the Gambia 
in the manner proposed, wa should have the impor- 
tant advantage of experiencing the least possible 
opposition from our rivals and inveterate enemies, 
the Moors; whose influence naturally diminishes in 
proportion as we recede from the Desert : and if we 
were once established on the Niger, our superiour 
advantages in trade would render nugatory any 
attempts, which they might make to resist our further 

P. S. The writer of this Memoir thinks it right to 
disclaim all pretensions to any superiour or exclu- 
sive knowledge of African geography. There ap- 
peared to him to be something inconsistent in the 
magnitude of the Niger as represented by Mr. Park 
at Bammakoo, and its sources according to our maps ; 
and being in possession of a paper which seemed 
to throw some little light upon the subject, he has 
ventured to give it to the publick, accompanied with 
a few remarks ; and will feel highly gratified, if they 
should have the effect of engaging the attention of 
some person capable of doing justice to an inquiry 
which is certainly interesting and important. 


The whole of the population of Western Barbary 
may be divided into three great classes (exclusive of 
the Jews) viz. Berrebbers, Arabs, and Moons. 1 he 
two former of these are in every respect distinct ra- 
ces of people, and are each again subdivided into 
various tribes or communities ; the third are chiefly 
compiled of the other two classes, or of their de- 
scendants, occasionally mixed with the European or 
Negro races. 

In the class of Berrebbers, of which I shall first 
treat, I include all those who appear to be descend- 
ants of the original inhabitants of the country before 
the Arabian conquest ; and who speak several lan- 
guages, or dialects of the same language, totally dif- 
ferent from the Arabick. The subdivisions of this 
class are — 1st, the Errifi, who inhabit the extensive 
mountainous province of that name on the shores of 
the Mediterranean ; 2dly, the Berrebbers of the lnte- 
riour, who commence on the southern confines of 
Errif, and extend to the vicinity of Fez and Me- 

* This original and interesting Sketch of the Popvlation of Western 
Barbary grew out of some observations made by the Editor to Mr. 
Dupuis, upon the frequent indiscriminate use of the names of Arab and 
Moor, in speaking apparently of the same people : and the explanation 
of these terms (as well as of the term Shillvh. see p. 133, Note 56) hav- 
ing led Mr. Dupuis into a longer detail thanrould be conveniently com- 
prised in a Note on the Narrative, he kindly consented, at the Editor's 
request, to extend his Remarks to all the classes of the inhabitants of 
the Empire of Morocco; and the Editor is happy to have permission 
to present these Remarks, in their present entire form, to the reader. 


quinez, occupying all the mountains and high lands 
in the neighbourhood of those cities; .^dly, the Ber- 
rebbers of Middle jitlas ; and, 4thly, the Shi Huh 
of Suse and Haha, who extend from Mogadore 
southward to the extreme boundaries of the domi- 
nions of the Cid Heshem, and from the seacoast to 
the eastern limits of the mountains of Atlas. 

Trie Erriji are a strong and athletick race of peo- 
ple, hardy and enterprising; their features are gene- 
rally good, and might in many cases be considered 
handsome, were it not for the malignant and fero- 
cious expression which marks them in common with 
the Berrebber tribes in general, but which is pecu- 
liarly striking in the eye of an Errif. They also pos- 
sess that marked feature of the Berrebber tribes, a 
scantiness of beard ; many of the race, particularly 
in the south, having only a few straggling hairs on 
the upper lip, and a small tuft on the chin. They 
are incessantly bent, on robbing and plundering ; in 
which they employ either open violence or cunning 
and treachery, as the occasion requires ; and they 
are restrained by no checks either of religion, morals 
or humanity. However, to impute to them in particu- 
lar, as distinct from other inhabitants of Barbary, the 
crimes of theft, treachery, and murder, would cer- 
tainly be doing them great injustice ; but I believe I 
may truly describe them as more ferocious and faith- 
less than any other tribe of Berrebbers. 

The Berrebbers of the districts of Fez, Mequinez, 
and the mountains of Middle Atlas, strongly resem- 
ble the Errifi in person, but are said to be not quite 
so savage in disposition. They are a warlike peo- 
ple, extremely tenacious of the independence which 
their mountainous country gives them opportunities 
of asserting, omit no occasion of shaking off the con- 
trol of government, and are frequently engaged in 
open hostilities with their neighbours the Arabs, or 


the Emperour's black troops. They are, as I am 
informed, the only tribes in Barbary who use the 
bayonet. The districts which they inhabit are 
peculiarly interesting and romantick ; being a succes- 
sion of hills and vallies well watered and wooded, 
and producing abundance of grain and pasturage. 

The Shilluhi or Berrebbers of the south of Bar- 
bary, differ in several respects from their brethren 
in the north. They are rather diminutive in person; 
and besides the want of beard already noticed, have 
in general an effeminate tone of voice. They aie, 
however, active and enterprising. They possess ra- 
thermore of the social qualities than the other tribes, 
appear to be susceptible of strong attachments and 
friendships, and are given to hospitality. They are 
remarkable for their attachment to their petty chief- 
tains; and the engagements or friendships of the lat- 
ter are held so sacred, that 1 never heard of an in- 
stance of depredation being committed on travellers 
furnished with their protection, (which it is usual to 
purchase with a present) or on any of the valuable 
caravans which are continually passing to and fro 
through their territory, between Barbary and Sou- 
dan. However, the predominant feature of their 
character is self-interest; and although in their deal- 
ings amongst strangers, or in the towns, they assume 
a great appearance of fairness and sincerity, yet they 
are not scrupulous when they have the power in their 
own hands: and like the other Berrebbers, they are 
occasionally guilty of the most atrocious acts of 
treachery and murder, not merely against Christians 
(for that is almost a matter of course with all the 
people of their nation) but even against Mohamme- 
dan travellers, w 7 ho have the imprudence to pass 
through their country without having previously se- 
cured the protection of one of their chiefs. 


As the Shilluh have been said to be sincere and 
faithful in their friendships, so are they on the other 
hand, perfectly implacable in their enmities and in- 
satiable in their revenge.* Their country produces 
grain in abundance, cattle, wax, almonds, and vari- 
ous valuable articles of trade. 

I have already said, that the languages of all the 
Berrebber tribes are totally different from the Ara- 
bick ; but vvhetner they are corrupted dialects of 
the ancient Punick, Numidian, or Mauritanian, I 
must leave to others to determine. That of the 

* The following anecdote, to the catastrophe of which I was an eye 
witness, will exemplify in some degree these traits of their character. 
A Shilluh having murdered one of his countrymen in a quarrel, fled 
to the Arabs from the vengeance of the relations of his antagonist ; 
but not thinking himself secure even there, he joined a party of pil- 
grims and went to Mecca. From this expiatory journey he returned 
at the end of eight or nine years to Barbary ; and proceeded to his 
native district, he there sought (under the sanctified name of El Haje, 
the Pilgrim, — a title of reverence amongst the Mohammedans) to 
effect a reconciliation with the friends of the deceased. They, how- 
ever, upon hearing of his return, attempted to seize him ; but owing 
to the fleetnessof lis horse he escaped and fled to Mogadore, having 
been severely wounded by a musket ball in his flight. His pursuers 
followed him thither; but the Governour of Mogadore hearing the 
circumstances of the case, strongly interested himself in behalf of the 
fugitive, and endeavoured, but in vain, to effect a reconciliation. The 
man was imprisoned ; and his persecutors then hastened to Morocco 
to seek justice of the Emperour. That prince, it is said, endeavoured 
to save the prisoner; and to add weight to his recommendation, of- 
fered a pecuniary compensation in lieu of the offender's life; which 
the parties, although persons of mean condition, rejected. They re- 
turned triumphant to Mogadore, with the Emperour's order for the de- 
livery of the prisoner into their hands : and having taken him out of 
prison, they immediately conveyed him without the walls of the town, 
where one of the party, loading his musket before the face of their 
victim, placed the muzzle to his breast and shot him through the body ; 
but as the man did not immediately fall, he drew his dagger and by 
repeated stabbing put an end to his existence. The calm intrepidity, 
with which this unfortunate Shilluh stood to meet his fate, could not 
be witnessed without the highest admiration ; and, however much we 
must detest the blood-thirs'iness of his executioners, we must still 
acknowledge, that there is something closely allied to nobleness of senti- 
ment, in the inflexible perseverance with which they pursued the mur- 
derer of their friend to punishment, without being diverted from theiv 
purpose by the strong inducements of self-interest. 


Errifi, I am told, is peculiar to themselves. It has 
also been asserted that the language of the Berreb- 
bers of the interiour, and of the Shilluh, are total- 
ly distinct from each other; but I have been assur- 
ed by those who are conversant with them, that al- 
though differing in many respects, they are really 
dialects of the same tongue. 

Like the Arabs, the Berrebbers are divided into 
numerous petty tribes or clans, each tribe or family 
distinguishing itself by the name of its patriarch or 
founder. The authority of the chiefs is usually 
founded upon their descent from some sanctified an- 
cestor, or upon a peculiar eminence of the individual 
himself in Mohammedan zeal or some other reli- 
gious qualification. 

With the exception already noticed, (that the 
Berrebbers of the North are of a more robust and 
stouter make than the Shilluh) a strong family like- 
ness runs through all their tribes. Their customs, 
dispositions, and national character are nearly the 
same ; they are all equally tenacious of the inde- 
pendence which their local positions enable them to 
assume ; and all are animated with the same invete- 
rate and hereditary hatred against their common 
enemy, the Arab. They invariably reside in houses, 
or hovels, built of stone and timber, which are gene- 
rally situated on some commanding eminence, and 
are fortified and loop-holed for self-defence. Their 
usual mode of warfare is to surprise their enemy, 
rather than overcome him by an open attack ; they 
are reckoned the best marksmen, and possess the 
best firearms in Barbary, which renders them a very 
destructive enemy wherever the country affords 
shelter and concealment ; but although they are al- 
ways an over match for the Arabs when attacked 
in their own rugged territory, they are obliged, on 
the other hand, to relinquish the plains to the Arab 



cavalry, against which the Berrebbers are unable 
to stand on open ground. 

The Arabs of Barbary are the direct descendants 
of the invaders of the country, who about the year 
100 of the Hegira, according to their own histories, 
completed the conquest of the whole of the North 
of Africa, dispersing or exterminating the nations 
which either attempted to oppose their progress, 
or refused the Mohammedan creed. During the 
dreadful ravages of this invasion, the surviving in- 
habitants, unable to resist their ferocious enemy, 
(whose cavalry doubtless contributed to give them 
their decided superiority) fled to the mountains; 
where they have since continued to live under the 
names of Berrebber, Shilluh, &c. a distinct people, 
retaining their hereditary animosity against their in- 

The Arabs, who now form so considerable a por- 
tion of the population of Barbary, and whose race 
(in the SherifFe line) has given Emperours to Mo- 
rocco ever since the conquest, occupy all the level 
country of the Empire ; and many of the tribes, 
penetrating into the Desert, have extended them- 
selves even to the confines of Soudan. In person 
they are generally tall and robust, with fine fea- 
tures and intelligent countenances. Their hair is 
black and straight, their eyes large, black and pierc- 
ing, their noses gently arched, their beards full 
and bushy, and they have invariably good teeth. 
The colour of those who reside in Barbary is a 
deep but bright brunette, essentially unlike the sal- 
low tinge of the Mulatto. The Arabs of the De- 
sert are more or less swarthy according to fc their prox- 
imity to the Negro states ; until, in some tribes, 
they are found entirely black, but without the wool- 


ly hair, wide nostril, and thick lip which peculiarly 
belong to the African Negro. 

The Arabs are universally cultivators of the earth 
or breeders of cattle, depending on agricultural 
pursuits alone for subsistence. To use a common 
proverb of their own, " the earth is the Arab's por- 
tion." They are divided into small tribes or fami- 
lies, as I have already stated with respect to the 
Berrebbers;— each separate tribe having a particu- 
lar Patriarch or Head by whose name they distin- 
guish themselves, and each occupying its own sepa- 
rate portion of territory. They are scarcely ever 
engaged in external commerce ; dislike the restraints 
and despise the security of residence in towns; and 
dwell invariably in tents made of a stuff woven from 
goats' hair and the fibrous root of the palmeta. In 
some of the provinces their residences form large 
circular encampments, consisting of from twenty to a 
hundred tents, where they are governed by a shieck 
or magistrate of their own body. This officer is 
again subordinate to a bashaw or governour ap- 
pointed by the Emperour, who resides in some 
neighbouring town. In these encampments there 
is always a tent set apart for religious worship, and 
appropriated to the use of the weary and benighted 
traveller, who is supplied with food and refreshment 
at the expense of the community. 

Something has already been said in the preceding 
Notes of the character of the Arab. In a general 
view, it is decidedly more noble and magnanimous 
than that of the Berrebber. His vices are of a 
more daring, and (if I may use the expression) of a 
more generous cast. He accomplishes his designs 
rather by open violence than by treachery ; he has 
less duplicity and concealment than the Berrebber ; 
and to the people of his own nation or religion 
he is much more hospitable and benevolent. Be- 


yond this, I fear it is impossible to say any thing in 
his favour. But it is in those periods of civil dis- 
cord which have been so frequent in Barbary, that 
the Arab character completely developes itself. — 
On these occasions they will be seen linked togeth- 
er in small tribes, the firm friends of each other, 
but the sworn enemies of all the world besides. 
Their ravages are not confined merely to the Ber- 
rebber and Bukharie tribes to whom they are at 
all times hostile, and whom they take all opportuni- 
ties of attacking, but every individual is their ene- 
my who is richer than themselves. Whilst these 
dreadful tempests last, the Arabs carry devasta- 
tion and destruction wherever they go, sparing 
neither age nor sex, and even ripping open the dead 
bodies of their victims, to discover whether they 
have not swallowed their riches for the purpose of 

Their barbarity towards Christians ought not to 
be tried by the same rules as the rest of their con- 
duct; for although it has no bounds but those which 
self-interest may prescribe, it must almost be con- 
sidered as a part of their religion ; so deep is the 
detestation which they are taught to feel for the 
" unclean and idolatrous infidel." A Christian, 
therefore, who falls into the hands of the Arabs, 
has no reason to expect any mercy. If it is his lot 
to be possessed by the Arabs of the Desert, his 
value as a slave will probably save his life ; but if 
he happens to be wrecked on the coast of the Em- 
perour's dominions, where Europeans are not allow- 
ed to be retained in slavery, his fate would in most 
cases be immediate death, before the Government 
could have time to interfere for his protection. 

The next great division of the people of Western 
Barbary, are the inhabitants of the cities and towns, 
who may be collectively classed under the general 


denomination of Moors ; although this name is only 
known to them through the language of Europeans. 
They depend chiefly on trade and manufactures for 
subsistence, and confine their pursuits in general to 
occupations in the towns. Occasionally, however, 
but very rarely, they may be found to join in agri- 
cultural operations with the Arabs. 

The Moors may be subdivided into the four fol- 
lowing classes — 1st, the tribes descended from Arab 
families ; 2d, those of Berrebber descent; 3d, the 
Bukharie ; 4 th, the Andalusie, 

The Arab families are the brethren of the conquer- 
ors of the country; and they form the largest por- 
tion of the population of the southern towns, especial- 
ly of those which border on Arab districts. 

The Berrebber families are in like manner more or 
less numerous in towns, according to the proximity of 
the latter to the Berrebber districts. 

The Bukharie, or black tribe, are the descendants 
of the Negroes brought by the Emperour Mulai Is- 
mael from Soudan. They have been endowed with 
gifts of land, and otherwise encouraged by the sub- 
sequent Emperours ; and the tribe, although inconsi- 
derable in point of numbers, has been raised to im- 
portance in the state, by the circumstance of its form- 
ing the standing army of the Emperour, and of its 
being employed invariably as the instruments of 

fovernment. Their chief residence is in the city of 
Iequinez, about the Emperour's person. They are 
also found, but in smaller numbers, in the different 
towns of the Empire. 

The Andalusie, who form the fourth class of Moors, 
are the reputed descendants of the Arab conquerors 
of Spain ; the remnant of whom, on being expelled 
from that kingdom, appear to have retained the 
name of its nearest province. These people form a 
large class of the population of the towns in the north 


of Barbary, particularly of Tetuan, Mequinez, Fez, 
and Rhabatt or Saliee. They are scarcely, if at 
all, found residing to the south of the river Aza- 
moor; being confined chiefly to that province of 
Barbary known by the name of El Gharb. 

The two last named classes of Bukharie, and 
Andalusie, are entire in themselves, and are not divi- 
sible into smaller communities like the Moors de- 
scended from the Arab and Berrebber tribes, the 
latter imitating in that respect their brethren in- 
the country, and retaining the names of the petty 
tribes from which their ancestors originally sprung ; 
for instance, the Antrie, Rehamni, &c. which are 
Arab tribes, and the Edoutanan, the Ait Amoor, 
&c. amongst the Berrebbers. All these smaller 
tribes are very solicitous to maintain a close fami- 
ly alliance with their brethren, who still pursue 
their agricultural employment in the country, which 
they find of great advantage in the event of in- 
testine commotions. 

The length of time since the settlement of these 
tribes in the towns cannot be accurately ascertain- 
ed; but the manner in which they were first separat- 
ed from their kindred in the country, may probably 
be exemplified by the following modern occurrence. 
When the father of the present Emperour had built 
the town of Mogadore, he caused a certain number 
of individuals to be selected, or drafted, from Arab 
and Berrebber (or Shilluh) tribes, and also from 
some of the towns; whom he compelled to set- 
tle in the new town. The young colony was after- 
wards encouraged and enriched by the removal of 
the foreign trade of the empire from Santa Cruz to 
Mogadore, which led to the settlement of other ad- 
venturers there. The probability that other towns 
were peopled by a similar compulsory proceeding, 
is confirmed by the known repugnance of the Arabs 


to quit their tents for houses, and by the aversion and 
even contempt which they feel for the restraints of a 
fixed residence in towns. 

These are the component parts of that mixed po- 
pulation which now inhabits the towns of Barbary, 
and which is known to Europeans by the name of 
Moors, In feature and appearance the greater part 
of them may be traced to the Arab or Berrebber 
tribes from which they are respectively derived ; for 
marriages between individuals of different tribes are 
generally considered discreditable. Such marriages 
however do occasionally take place, either in conse- 
quence of domestick troubles, or irregularity gf con- 
duct in the parties ; and they are of course attended 
with a corresponding mixture of feature. Intermar- 
riages of the other tribes with the Bukharie are al- 
most universally reprobated, and are attributed, when 
they occur, to interested motives on the part of the 
tribe which sanctions them, or to the overbearing in- 
fluence and power possessed by the Bukharie. These 
matches entail on their offspring the Negro feature 
and a mulatto-like complexion, but darker. In all 
cases of intermarriage between different tribes or 
classes, the woman is considered to pass over to the 
tribe of her husband. 

Besides the Moors, the population of the towns 
is considerably increased by the Negro slaves, who 
are in general prolifick, and whose numbers are 
continually increasing by fresh arrivals from the 
countries of Soudan. 

In conclusion, the following may be stated as a 
brief leading distinction between the habits and cir- 
cumstances of the three great classes of the inhabi- 
tants of Western Barbary. 

The Berrebbers, (including the Shilluh) are cul- 
tivators of the soil and breeders of cattle ; they oc- 

192 APPENDIX. NO. If. 

cupy the mountainous districts, and reside in houses 
or hovels built of stone and timber. 

The Arabs, occupying the plains, follow the 
same pursuits as the Berrebbers, and live in tents. 

The Moors are traders, and reside in the towns. 

It will, perhaps, be observed, that this distinction 
will not apply to the tribe described by Mr. Park 
on the southern confines of the Desert, whom he 
calls Moors, and distinguishes by that name from 
the Arabs of the Desert. It is evidently quite im- 
practicable to assign precise denominations to the 
many possible mixtures of races which in process of 
time naturally occur: but a roving people, living in 
tents, as these are described to be, certainly cannot 
be entitled to the appellation of Moors. Neither 
can the people in question, whom Park describes to 
have short bushy hair, be a pure Arab tribe ; though 
their leader, Ali, appears to have been an Arab. But 
by whatever name they ought to be distinguished, it 
seems very probable that they are descended from 
the ancient invaders of Soudan, who having been 
left to garrison the conquered places, remained on 
the southern borders of the Desert, after the authori- 
ty which originally brought them there became ex- 
tinct ; and who by occasional intermarriages with the 
Negroes have gradually lost many of the distinguish- 
ing features of their Arab ancestors. 

Viewing the term Moor as a translation or cor- 
ruption of the Latin word Mauri, by which the 
Romans designated a particular nation, it is evident, 
that it cannot with strict propriety be used even in 
the limited sense which I have here confined it; 
for, the people who now occupy the towns of Wes- 
tern Barbary, (with the exception, perhaps, of that 
small portion of them allied to the Berrebber tribes) 
are certainly not descendants of the ancient Mauri- 
tanians. The name, as I have said before, is not 


used amongst the people themselves, as the names of 
Arab, Berrebber, &c. are : but the class is quite dis- 
tinguished from the other inhabitants of Barbary 
by the modes of life and pursuits of those who com- 
pose it. And as Europeans in their loose accepta- 
tion of the name Moor, have successively designat- 
ed by it all the different races who have from time 
to time, occupied this part of Africa ; applying it 
even to the Arab invaders of Spain, who proceeded 
from hence; they may very naturally appropriate it 
to those stationary residents of the Empire of Mo- 
rocco with whom, almost exclusively, they carry on 
any intercourse. The only distinguishing term 
which the Arabs occasionly give to the Moors is 
that of Medainien, towns' people ; which is a depre- 
ciating appellation in the estimation of an Arab. If 
you ask a Moor; what he calls himself? he will 
naturally answer you that he is a Mooslim, or be- 
liever ; — his country ? Bled Mooselmin, the land of 
believers. If you press him for further particulars, 
he will then perhaps tell you the tribe to which he 
belongs, or the district or city in which he was born. 
Neither have they a general name for their country ; 
in other Mohammedan states it is distinguished by 
the name of El Ghdrb, the West ; but the natives 
themselves only apply this name to a province in 
the northern part of the Empire beyond the River 

The term Moor, therefore, seems to stand, with 
respect to the people to whom we apply it, exactly 
in the same predicament as their term Romi with re- 
spect to us ; which, having survived the times when 
the extended power of the Romans rendered it not 
an improper appellation for all the inhabitants of 
Europe, known to the Mauritanians, continues, in the 
dialects of Barbary, to be the general name for Eu- 
ropeans of every nation at this day. D. 


Adams, Robert, Introductory Details respecting — accidentally 
met with in London, ix — brought to the office of the African 
Company, and questioned respecting his adventures in Afri- 
ca; his answers satisfactory, x-xi — his method of comput- 
ing bearings, distances, and rates of travelling through the de- 
serts, xiv — examined by several members of government, 
and others, xv — receives a gratuity from the Lords of the 
Treasury, and departs for America, xv — his statements cor- 
roborated by Mr. Dupuis, British Vice Consul at Mogadore, 
xvii — curious particulars relating to his conduct and appear- 
ance when liberated from slavery, xviii — -known at Mogadore 
by the name of Rose — reasons for his changing his name to 
Adams, xx-xxi. 
Adams, Robert, his Narrative — wrecked on the western coast 
of Africa, 31 — carried from the coast by a party of Moors to a 
Douar in the Desert, 34 — accompanies a party of Moors in an 
expedition to Soudenny, 36 — made prisoner, with them, by the 
Negroes, and carried to Tombuctoo, 37-39 — ransomed, with 
the Moors, and carried to Tudenny, and thence to the Douar 
of Woled D'leim, 58-62 — employment and treatment there, 
63-64 — escapes with a camel to Hilla Gibla (or El Kabla) 
64-5 — becomes the slave of the Governour, has an intrigue 
With one of the Governour's wives, and is sold, in consequence 
to a trading Moor, 66-8 — carried thence to different Douars 
in the Desert, and finally to Wadinoon, 68-71 — his employ- 
ment and inhuman treatment at that place — but at length 
ransomed and carried to Mogadore, 74-81 — sent thence by 
]VIr. Dupuis to Fez and Tangier, 82 — thence to Cadiz by the 
American Consul ; his stay there, 82-3— arrives in London in 
the utmost distress, 83 — his reckoning of time and distances 
corrected, 137-8. 
African Company, Committee of the, examine Adams, and re* 

commend the Editor to compile his Narrative, xii. 
Agadter Doma, the Moorish name of Senegal, 88. 
Andalusie tribe of Moors, origin and description of it, 189-190, 

INDEX. 195 

Arabs of El Gagie described, 85-6— make prisoners the crew 
of the " Charles," and plunder the wreck, 31 — quit the 
coast with their prisoners; their mode of travelling, 34 — pre- 
datory expedition to Soudenny ; made prisoners by the Ne- 
groes, and sent to Tombuctoo, 37-9. 

Arabs of Barbary, and the Desert, description and character of, 
186, etscqq. — their distinguishing occupations, 192. 

Arrows, poisoned, used by the Negroes, 48, 103-104. 

Ba Fing river, notices respecting it, 1 75* 

Ba Lee river, notices respecting it, 175. 

Ba Woolima river, notices respecting it, 176-177. 

Bammakoo, too remote a point on the Niger for the destination 

of European expeditions, 178. 
Banks, Sir Joseph, examines Adams, xv. 
Barbary, West, description of its classes of inhabitants, 181, et 

Barrow, John, Esq. examines Adams, xv. 
Bathurst, Earl, examines Adams, xv. 
Barry, Mr. of Teneriffe, confirms a circumstance in Adams's 

story, 87. 
Berrebbers, one of the three great classes of inhabitants of West 

Barbary, description and character of them, 181-185. 
Betoo, or Badoo, country of, noticed, 168-g. 
Bold river, noticed, 176. 
Bukharie trine of Moors, origin and description of it, 189. 

Caravans, seasons of travelling of those of Barbary which trade 
to Tombuctoo, and other parts of the Interiour, 116. 

Cannibals, 110. 

Canoes, description of those which navigate the La Mar Zarah, 
43, 96. 

Chancellor of the Exchequer, examines Adams, xv. 

" Charles," the, American ship, names of her owner and crew, 
50 — wrecked on the western coast of Africa, 31 — statement of 
the fate of the crew, 141. 

Christian captives, their inhuman treatment, 74, 75, 130 — their 
deplorable condition, when rescued from the Arabs, 130 — 
treated more cruelly than any other slaves, 131. 

Cidi Mohammed Mousoul, sanctuary of, noticed, 80. 

Cidi Mahomeda Moussa, great market held there annually, 80, 

Courcoo, a singular animal described by Adams, 47 — his descrip- 
tion apparently erroneous, 104. 

D'Anville, cited, 96, 171. 

196 INDEX. 

Davison, one of the crew of the " Charles" renounces his 
religion, 77 — escapes from Wed-Noon, and finally restored to 
Christianity, 133. 

Details, introductory, respecting Adams, ix. 

Dibbie, Lake, the descriptions of it improbable, 160. 

Dolbie, the mate of the " Charles," falls sick at Wed-Noon, and 
put to death by his master, 77, 129. 

Douar, its meaning, 85. 

Dupuis, Mr., British Vice Consul at Mogadore, letter from him to 
the Editor, corroborating Adams's statements, and containing 
some curious particulars relating to his ransom, and appear- 
ance and conduct on his arrival at Mogadore, vii-xxii — 
his notes and observations on Adams's Narrative, 85, et seqq. 
— his account of the different classes of the inhabitants of 
"West Barbary, 181, et seqq. 

El Gazie, Moors of, make prisoners the crew of the " Charles," 
31 — description of that Douar, 85. 

El Kabla (see Hilla Gibla.) 

Elephants, mode of hunting them by the people of Tombuctoo, 
45-6 — great numbers of their teeth brought into Barbary, 100 — 
observations on Adams's account of the elephant, 101-2. 

Erriji, a tribe of Berrebbers, described, 182. 

Faleme river, notices respecting it, 1 75. 

Fatima, queen of Tombuctoo, her dress, 40-41 — her name no 
proof of her being a Moorish, or Mohammedan woman, 91. 

French renegade at El Gazie, his story, 32 — manufactures gun- 
powder at Wed-Noon, 73. 

Furkomah river, noticed, 176. 

Gambia river, its course not so long nor so far south, as laid 
down on the Maps, 1 74. 

Genne (or Jinnie) its trade with Tombuctoo, 167. 

Gollo (or Quallo,) account of a Negro nation of that name, 111. 

Gordon, Major-General Sir Willoughby, examines Adams, hi* 
opinion of his story, xv-xvi. 

Goulburn, Henry, Esq. examines Adams, xv. 

Gonvina, rock of, the Niger navigable westward nearly to that 
point, 171. 

Guns, double-barrelled, in common use among the Arabs of the 
Desert, 94. 

Gunpowder, manufactured at Wed-Noon by a French rene- 
gade, 73. 

Haoussa, merchants from that country frequent Lagos, in the 
Bight of Benin ; information obtained from them respecting 

INDEX. 197 

the nature of the country through which they travel, xxvi- 

Heirie, a species of camel, of great swiftness, 45 — the same 

animal as that described by Leo Africanus under the name 

ragnahil; and by Pennant under that of raguahl, 99. 
Hieta Mouessa Alt (Aiata Mouessa Ali,) a large Douar in the 
Desert, visited by Adams, 70. 
Harrison, George, Esq. examines Adams, xv. 
Hilla Gibla, (or El Kabla,) a Douar in the Desert, described, 66. 
— some account of the Arab tribe of that place, 121. 
Horses, none at Tombuctoo, 99. 
Horton, John, master of the " Charles," his death among the 

Moors, 33, 87. 

Jinnie, its distance and bearing from Tombuctoo, 97. (See 

Joos, (Yos or Yadoos (Ayos) of D'Anville's Maps,) a powerful 

Negro nation, xxvii. 
Isha, the wife of the Governour of Hilla Gibla, intrigues with 
Adams, 67-8. 

Kancaba (Kaniaba of Rennell's Maps,) an extensive slave mar- 
ket on the Niger, 172. 

Kanno, curious relation made to Adams by a female slave from 
that place, 74. 

Kashna, notice respecting the distance between that place and 
Houssa, in Major Rennell's Maps, 127. 

Kong mountains, their general direction, 1 78. 

Lahatnar river, mentioned by Marmol, as a branch of the Niger, 

La Mar Zarah, name of the river on which Tombuctoo stands ; 
its size, navigation, and course, 43 — conjectures respecting 
it, 95-6 — probably a branch of the Niger, 164. 

Lagos, in the Bight of Benin, probability of Europeans being 
able to proceed thence in the direction of the Niger, xxyi. 

Lake Dibbie, (See Dibbie.) 

Lakes of considerable extent intersect the countries between 
Haoussa and the coast of the Bight of Benin, xxvi. 

Leo Africanus, his account of Tombuctoo noticed, 156 — re- 
marks on the discordances in the different versions of his 
book, 158-9; 162-3. 

Lords of the Treasury, order Adams a handsome gratuity, xv. 

Matins, a Mandingo nation, noticed, 169. 

Map, explanations respecting the construction of that which ac- 
companies the Narrative, xxiv-v — errours noticed in the 

198 INDEX. 

construction of that prefixed to the account of Park's Last 
Mission, 175-6 7. 

Marmol, cited, 96. 

Mauri of the Romans, the origin of the term Moors, 192. 

Mcdainien, the Arab term for Moors, 193. 

Mogadore, how first peopled, 190. • 

" Montezuma," the, from Liverpool, wrecked on the coast of 
Wadinoon; fate of her crew, 73, 126. 

Moors, their predatory incursions in the Negro countries fre- 
quent, 89. (See Arabs.) 

Moors, classes of, their origin and character, 189, et seqq. — 
their distinguishing occupations, 191 — origin of the term, 

Negro slave, curious history of one, 110-111. 

Negro slaves, a great source of population in the towns of Bar- 
bary, 191. 

Negroes, description of those of Soudenny and Tombuctoo, 37- 
38; 48, 52; 106, 109 — theii accounts of the interiourof Afri- 
ca to be received with caution, 153 — characteristicks of those 
of Soudan, 165. 

Niger river, remarks respecting it, 162-164 — account of its 
trade and navigation in 1 764, 1 67, et seqq. — its falls at Sootasoo, 
168 — supposed to be navigable much further westward than 
represented in the maps, 167 — its magnitude at Bammakoo 
not reconcileable with the distance of that place from its 
source, as given in the Maps, 173 — conjectures respecting 
its sources, 178-9 — expediency and practicability of exploring 
its remotest western navigation, 179. 

Park, Mr., observations on some parts of his account of his se- 
cond mission, 127 — remarks on some passages in his account 
of his first mission, 148-153 ; 172-179. 

Peddie, Major, the examination of Adams undertaken in the 
hope of its result proving of use to that officer in his expedi- 
tion to Africa, xx. 

Poisonous preparation of the Negroes in which they dip their ar- 
rows, 48, 103. 

Quarterly Review cited, xxviii. 

Rapids in the Niger at Bammakoo, conjectures respecting them, 

Remarks on Adams's Narrative, 167, et seqq.— on various passa- 
gesinMr. Park's Travels, 128, 148-153; 172-179. 

Reuegade, French, at El Gazie and Wed-Noon, 32, 87. 

Rennell, Major, notice respecting his estimate of distance be- 
tween Kashna and Houssa, 127 — his correction of an erroiu 

INDEX. 199 

in Leo Africanus, 164 — appears to have obtained more 
extensive geographical details from Mr. Park, than what 
are given in his Travels, 172 — probable errour in his Maps, 
respecting the sources of the Senegal, 176. 

Rivers, notices respecting those mentioned by Mr. Park in his 
Travels, 175-7. 

Romi, the term in Barbary for Europeans in general, 1 93. 

Rose, Benjamin, xxi. (See Adams.) 

Senegal, information obtained by the Governour of that settle- 
ment, in 1764, respecting Tombuctoo, and the navigation of 
the Niger, 1 67, et seqq. 

Senegal river, probable errour respecting its sources, 1 73-7. 

Shilluh, tribe of, 134 — described, 183 — singular instance of their 
implacable hatred, and revengeful spirit, 184. (See Berrebbers.) 

Shipwrecks, why frequent on the western Coast of Africa, 85 
— proceedings of the Moors when they happen there, 86 — 
usual fate of the crews of the ships, 87. 

Simpson, Mr., Consul General of the United States at Tangier, 
Adams's history communicated to him by Mr. Dupuis, xx. 

Soosos of D'Anville, noticed, 171. 

Sootasoo, falls of, on the Niger, 168— probably the rapids mention- 
ed by Mr. Park, in his " Second Mission," 171. 

Soudenny, route thither across the Desert, 36 — description of its 
inhabitants, 37 — rout thence to Tombuctoo, 38 — probable 
situation, 89-90. 

Stevens, a Portuguese ; accompanies Adams in an expedition with 
the Moors, 35-6. 

Sucrra, the Moorish name of Mogadore 35. 

Tavdeny, (or Tudenny) a Moorish and Negro village, on the 
borders of the Desert, 60 — account of the salt pits there, 60 
— its trade in that article, 1 19 

Tombuctoo, or Timbuctoo, its situation and extent, 43 — ani- 
mal, vegetable, and mineral productions of the surrounding 
country, 43-6 — observations on Adams's description of these, 
96-7 — dress, manners and customs of the natives, 48-52; 
106,109 — musical instruments, 52 — population of Tombuctoo, 
53 — slaves, 54 — articles of commerce, 55, 112 — climate, 56 
— list of native words, 57 — information respecting Tombuc- 
too, by Mr. Dupuis, 91-4, et seqq. — its trade with Barbary de- 
clined of late years, 112-13; 158 — occupied at an early period 
by the troops of the Emperours of Morocco, 154 — conjec- 
tures respecting the stream on which Adams describes it to 
stand, 161, 164— information respecting its trade in 1764, 167, 

200 INDEX. 

Wadinoon (or Wed-Noori) described, 72 — cruel treatment of the 
Christian slaves at that place, 74-5 ; 130 — singular instance 
of bigotry and self-interest in regard to an English captive 
there, 132. 

Wed-Noon. (See Wadinoon.) 

White men, curious relation respecting some seen at a place 
called Kamio, 74. 

Williams, one of the crew of the " Charles," renounces his re- 
ligion, 77 — escapes from Wed-Noon and finally restored to 
Christianity, 133. 

WoollO) King of Tombuctoo, treats Adams kindly, 40 — his 
dress, 40 — conjectures respecting him, 91. 

Vied Diileim, (or Woled DHcim) a Douar in the Desert, account of 
it, 62 — description of the Arabs of that place, 119. 

Villa de Bousbach, (or Woled Aboussebah) a Douar of that name 
in the Desert, 68 — account of this tribe of Arabs, 122-3. 

Villa Adrialla, (Woled Adrialla) another Douar, 69. 

Yea, (or Issa) the name given to the Niger by Marmol, and 
adopted by D'Anville, 96. 

Zaire river, xxviii. 

Boston, May 1, 1317. 


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" "We have made large extracts from tins puolieation, under a persuasion of the accuracy and 
fidelity of the writer." 

HISTORY, with Historical and Explanatory Notes. By ROBERT VAL- 
PY, D.D. F.A.S. With additions and improvements. 

Non in notiti3 vel rerum, vel temporum, satis opera? insumitur... tacit, dial, de orato. xxxix. 
To which is added, AMERICAN CHRONOLOGY, from the discovery 
by Columbus to the establishment of the Federal Constitution. Price 
62 1-2 cents bound. 


The necessity of an early acquaintance with History has been always acknowledged. It is 
generally confessed, that without a proportionate knowledge of Geography and Chronology, Histo- 
ry cannot make a lasting impression on the memory. The satisfaction of beholding the face of the 
earth, of tracing the march of an army, the progress of an empire, or even the tour of a traveller, 
insensibly leads the inquisitive minds of youth to a competent knowledge of Geography. Less 
attractive is the study of Chronology. A list of dates is far from leaving that agreeable impression 
on the memory, which is the result of the attractive survey of a map or chart. What is indis- 
tinctly remembered, ceases to engage delight j and what is no longer interesting, is soon totally 

Those who rank History among the principal branches of a classical education, have long been 
sensible of this difficulty. Various plaus have been proposed, and systems adopted, io order to, 
clear the path of Chronology of its intricacies and impediments. — Of these plans, the most successful, 
was that of Dr. Valpy, who has done much to smooth xhe difficulties in the attainment of classi- 
cal learning. He conceived, that if the knowledge of dates, which is happily connected with that of 
facts, could be reduced to a poetical form, in a series of English verses, which might be easily learnt 
on account of their simplicity, and remembered without disgust, a benefit of some importance 
would be conferred on the rising age. He found his path fortunately traced, and his labour con- 
siderably diminished, by a work of the celebrated Lowth, Bishop of Loudon. Upon this ground- 
work he proceeded, and gave the publick a small volume, which passed through seven editions in a 
short time 

The present is an attempt to enlarge and extend the usefulness of Dr. Valpy's Chronology. Seve 
ral additional articles are given in the reign of George III, including th^ most important events to 
the year 1815:— and an entire series is added, of American Chronology, from the discovery of 
Columbus, to the establishment of the Federal Constitution. 

It is obvious, that great and leading events only could be noticed in a work of this nature, whose 
object is to assist, and not to overload the memory. 

The editors hope that the additional stanzas wttl be found not inferiour to those of the original 
in comprehensiveness or harmony of diction and will be gratified if they can furnish to our school*. 
and academies a cheap book, on a neglected branch of education, in any degree calculated to open the; 
understanding of the young, and enlarge the stock of useful knowledge. 


FEMALE VIRTUES. By the Author of the " Beneficial effects of the Christian 
Temper on Doraestick Happiness." From the third London Edition. Price $ I 
12 1-2 cents. 

This book contains the Lives of Eve.. ..Sarah. ...Rebekah.... Thermusis, Pharaoh's Daughter...' 

Ruth ....Hannah Queen of Sheba.... Jezebel. ...Esther.. ..Judith Susannah.. ..The Mother, and 

her seven Sons.. ..The Virgin Mary.. ..Elizabeth and Anne.. ..Martha and Mary.. ..Dorcas. 

JANE OF FRANCE, an Historical Novel. By MADAME 
I)E GENLIS. Translated from the French. In two Volumes. Price $1 boards. 

" This tale is, perhaps, one of the most beautiful and instructive of the kind that 
has ever been written.* 1 — Lit. Reg. 

Extract from the Preface. 

This Historical Romance presents a picture, which has never before been offered to the publick 
eye. In pourtraying a heroine disgraced by nature, and describing the afflictions attendant on 
a legitimate but hopeless attachment, a passion which even virtue itself could not overpower 
— it has been my object to oppose moral and physical beauty. 

There is something ideal in physical beauty, because it cannot be quite perfect without an 
assemblage of a host of circumstances, which it is impossible to find united in one object. The most 
lovely creature will always have some little defect, either in countenance or person. But there is 
nothing ideal in moral beauty. It is not necessary that a thousand things should combine to com- 
plete it, for truly enlightened piety alone has often produced it. What imagination will ever be 
able, in the best work of fiction, to create characters more perfect than those of Saint Louis and 
Vincent de Paule p How can actions be invented, more heroically affecting than those which 
have immortalized their memory ? 

The heroes of this work are not saints. I have not disguised the weakness of Louis, but have 
presented him, as well as Jane, in the light that History displays them. I have, however, at 
tempted to describe the goodness of heart, the greatness of soul, and the perfection of senti- 
ment, which characterized the latter. 

1 trust that the reader, who possesses generous feelings, will like the subject of this romance, 
which at least resembles no other. It has already obtained the approbation of several persons 
who have perused it in manuscript, and whose good opinion I most highly value. 1 produce 
it, therefore, under happy auspices, for even before its appearance, it has procured me a degree 
of satisfaction, which is a thousand times preferable to any that the vanity of an author can desire. 

By JANE TAYLOR, Author of • Display ; a Tale.' And one of the Authors of 
* Original Poems for Infant Minds,' « Hymns for Infant Minds,' &c. Price 75 
cents, half bound. 

lated from the French of MADAME DE STAEL-HOLSTEIN. To which is pre- 
fixed, a Memoir of the Life and writings of the Author. In two vols. From the 
second London edition. Price $2 boards, 

CHILDREN. In three volumes. By MARIA EDGEWORTH, Author of Prac- 
tical Education, and Letters for Literary Ladies. Price $3 00, bound. 

AN APPEAL to the Serious and Candid PROFESSORS of 

CHRISTIANITY, on the following subjects, viz. 

I. The Use of Reason in Matters of Religion. 

II. The Power of Man to do the Will of God. 

III. Original Sin. 

IV. Election and Reprobation. 

V. The Divinity of Christ. And, 

VI. Atonement for Sin by the Death of Christ. 

By JOSEPH PRIESTLEY, L.L.D. F.R.S. &c. To which are added, a concise 
History of the Rise of those Doctrines ; and an account of the Trial of Mr, El- 
wall, for Heresy and Blasphemy, at Strafford Assizes. Price 20 cents. 
To us there is one God, the father ,* and one Mediator, the man christ jesus. 

1 Cor. viii. 6.—1 Tim. ii. 5. 



Matthew, Gabriel, Anne, Mary, and Frances Hale. By SIR MAT- 
THEW HALE, Lord Chief Justice in the reign of Charles II. Price 
87 1-2 cents bound. 


Introduction. — Chapters : 1 Danger of the Times in relation to Religion — 2 
Dangers incident to your Age — 3 Dangers that arise to you from your Condition 
and Relations — 4 Dangers that may arise from your Constitution and Complexion 
— 5 Religion in general — 6 The Christian Religion — 7 Directions concerning 
Prayer — 8 Reading of the Scriptures, &c. — 9 Observation of the Lord's Day — 16 
Ordinary religious Conversation- — 11 On the Sacrament — 12 Moral and civil Con- 
versations and Actions — 13 Moderation of the Passions — 14 Idleness and Employ- 
ment — 15 Ordinary Employments — 16 Employment of young gentlewomen — 17 
Company, and the Choice of it — 18 Recreations — 19 Eating, Drinking, and Sleep- 
ing — 20 Apparel and Habit — 21 Carriage to your Inferiours, Superiours, and Equals 
— 22 SingleiLife and Marriage. 

Price $2 boards. 

BELINDA. By Miss EDGEWORTH. In two vols. Price 

$ 2 boards. 

RHODA. A Novel, in 2 vols. By the Author of « Things 
by their Right Names." Price $ 2 in boards. 

" We have seldom," observe the critical reviewers, " had an opportunity of noticing a novel 
possessing such claims to approbation as the volumes before us. We deprecate the injurious con- 
sequences too generally produced in the female mind by this species of reading. But the work 
we are about to introduce to the attention of our readers, is not merely exempt from the ordinary 
objections preferred against publications of this description, but presents such numerous excel- 
lencies, and illustrates so sound amoral, that we recommend it to the perusal of all our female 
readers ; particularly to those whose pretty faces and fascinating manners become dangerous 
possessions, from being the allies of vanity, irresolution, and frivolity." 

DISCIPLINE. By the Author of " Self Controul." In 2 vols. 
12mo. 2d American edition. Price $2 00 bound. > 

QUARRELS OF AUTHORS ; or, some Memoirs for our lite- 
rary History, including specimens of controversy to the reign of Elizabeth. By 
the Author of «« Calamities of Authors." In 2 vols. Price $2. 

The use and end cf this Work I do not so much design for curiosity, or satisfaction of those that 
are the lovers of learning, but chiefly for a more grave and serious purpose ; which is, that it will 
make learned men ?vise in the use and administration of learning. Lord Bacon, of Learning. 


* Clarentine,' ' Geraldine Fauconberg,' and * Traits of Nature.' — Containing 
THE SHIPWRECK. Price $\ boards. 


2 vols. Price $2 boards. 

ANSTER FAIR, a Poem in six Cantos, with other Poems. 
Price 75 cents. 

BERT SOUTHEY. Price 75 cents. 

CHRIST ABEL.— KublaKhan, a vision.— The Pains of Sleep. 
By S. T. COLERIDGE, Esq. Price 37 1-2 cents. 

LARA, a Tale. JAQUELINE, a Tale. Price 40 cents. 



PARTS REVISITED in 1815, by way of Brussels : including; a 
walk over the Field of Battle at Waterloo. By JOHN SCOTT, Author of a 
visit to Paris in 1814; and Editor of the Champion, a London weekly Journal. 

Price $1 boards. 

Extract from the Work. 

" The political institutions of society are, at least, as far from having reached perfection, as 
the arts and sciences ; and if change and experiment are not so practicable in the former as ia 
the latter, yet, in proportion as it is mischievous to tamper with them hut when the occasion is 
clear, the'opportunity striking, and the call urgent, it is dangerous and guilty to withstand those 
great" invitations which at intervals summon mankind to improve their coudition. It would be 
stupidly base to set down all those disturbances that have of late years agitated Europe, to a wilful 
and unfounded temper of popular insubordination; the convulsion can only fairly be considered 
as a natural working, accompanied with painful arid diseased symptoms, but occasioned by the 
growth of men's minds beyond the institutions that had their origin in a very inferiour state of 
information. Nor should England consider herself out of the need of advancing herself further, . 
because she is already advanced beyond her neighbours ; on the contrary, her sti ;ngth and wis- 
dom lies in maintaining her wouted prerogative of being the first to move forward 1 a safe road, 
of first catching the briglu prospect of further attainments, and securing for herse '. in the inde- 
pendence and fortitude of her judgment, what others tardily copy from her prac* e. The vigo- 
rous habits of action and thought which her rulers have found so valuable in the e struggle lor, 
national fame and pre-eminence, are only to be preserved, as they were engeudeied,— namely,— 
by admitting popular opinion to busy itself with the internal affairs of the country, to exercise 
itself freely on the character of its political establishments, to grapple on even ground with 
professional and official prejudices and pre-possessions, and finally, to knock every thing down 
that does not stand firm in its own moral strength. This is England's duty to herself j and, to 
the world at large, she owes an equally sacred one ; viz. so to regulate the application of ner 
influence and power, that it shall oppose no tendency to good ; that it shall never be available 
io evil and bigoted designs masking themselves under canting professions j but ju tify those loud I 
and confident calls which she has every where addressed to generous hearts and fin ; spirits." 

READINGS ON POETRY. By Richard Lovjll Edge- 
worth and Maria Edgeworth. Price 75 cts. half bound. 

Vol. Ill of COVYPER'S POEMS, containing his Posthumous 
Poetry, and a sketch of his Life. By his kinsman, JOHN JOHNSON, L.L.D. 
Rector of Yaxham with Wei bourne, in Norfolk. Price $1. 

His virtues forni'd the inagick of his song.— Co7vper y s Epitaph. 

A SERTES of POPULAR ESSAYS, illustrative of principles 
essentially connected with the improvement of the understanding, the imagination, 
and the heart. By ELIZABETH HAMILTON, Author of Letters on the Ele- 
mentary principles of Education, Cottagers of Glenburnie, &c. In 2 vols. Price 
$2 50 bound $2 boards. 

NINGHAM, a.m. Author of " The Velvet Cushing, &c." Price 75 cents bound* 

CAN SAILOR, who was wrecked on the western coast of AFRICA, in the year 
1810, was detained three years in Slavery by the Arabs of the Great Desert, and 
resided several months in the city of TOMBUCTOO. With a M IP, Notes, and 
an Appendix. 


of Letters in Europe. By DUGALD STEWART, Esq p. r. ss. Lond. & F.din. 
Honorary member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg ; 
member of the Royal Academy of Berlin, and of the American Philosophical So- 
ciety held at Philadelphia ; formerly professor of Moral Philosophy in the Univer- 
sity of Edinburgh. 



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